Rent-free period only used while restaurant was being kitted out
A COUNCIL meeting has been told that a new Brixham restaurant isn't enjoying a rent free period.
A Freedom of Information request has revealed that while the Crab Quay House did not pay anything while work was going on inside, it is expected to pay thousands of pounds over the coming years.
Addressing a recent Brixham Town Council meeting local farmer and businessman Richard Haddock, who is also involved the Federation of Small Businesses, voiced his concerns.
He asked the council: "Is it true that the new restaurant the Crab Quay House is on a three-year free rent?
"How do you expect the other businesses in Brixham to compete on a fair footing and are you going to give other businesses and restaurants that kind of right?"
However a member of the public said he had done a Freedom of Information request to find out what the restaurant pays.
He told the council that the Crab Quay House would be expected to pay £25,000 in rent this year, £40,000 next year, £50,000 the following year and £65,000 after that until the rent is reviewed.
A spokesman for Torbay Council confirmed the figures.
The FoI request, which is logged by the council on its website and dates back to July 24, reveals that the restaurant is expected to pay its first rent payment in the last quarter of the year on a pro-rata basis to the number of days it has been trading.
The FoI request also reveals that there was no rent imposed on the restaurant while it was being kitted out until it finally opened for business last month.
To the question 'has the council agreed to the extension of any rent free period specified in the agreement and/or the lease and if so, on what grounds?', the FoI officer replied: "The lease will commence on completion of the works.
"There has been a slight delay in commencing the works. We had hoped to achieve completion for April 1 this year.
"If we had not agreed an extension of time then we would have had to remarket the premises and start afresh which would have delayed the project even further."