A beloved Woodford Green shop is taking Redbridge Council to court to contest hundreds of pounds in fines for selling plants on the pavement.
The owners of Allsorts on Snakes Lane East, Sally and Simon Reynolds, say they sold items just outside the shop’s door for 24 years without complaint from the council.
Last June, they were fined £200 for illegal street trading and obstructing the highway, an amount that has now increased to at least £600 after they refused to back down.
The couple currently have a court date for July 17 and more than 2,000 petition signatures online and in their store. The petition calls on the council to cancel the fines.
Sally Reynolds explained they feel the land they are using belongs to the shop as it used to be the front garden when the building was a cottage.
She said: “Our arrangement has not changed and we have been here 25 years now. The greengrocers that used to be next door traded outside all the time.
“If you think how much joy these plants have given people over the last 8 weeks, it has been amazing. A lot of our customers are elderly and they have managed to come out here or signed online.
“We are the only shop down here that offers something for the local community other than a takeaway or a betting shop.
“(The council) are supposed to be working to save small businesses and all they are doing is closing them down.”
A petition online calling for the council to cancel the fines has received 1,787 signatures and Sally said a further 400 people have signed a physical petition at the store.
A Redbridge Council spokesperson said: “This matter is before the courts and it would be therefore inappropriate to make any further comment at this time.”