A PENARTH taxi driver has reassured customers that he has no plans to close the business despite being served with an enforcement order by the Vale Council.
A planning committee last night upheld a complaint that Cabs 64, based on Glebe Street, was in breach of planning restrictions as the business had failed to get planning permission to act as a taxi booking office.
The company has now been ordered to “permanently cease the use of the premises as a taxi call centre”. A Vale Council spokeswoman said it was now a matter for the council’s enforcement section to deal with.
David Mais, owner of Cab 64, said that he planned to appeal the decision and reassured customers that he had no intentions of moving.
Mr Mais, who set up the business in June last year and has been a taxi driver for more than 16 years, added that he had appointed a planning consultant to help him win his case.
"I want to make it clear to the customers that we are going nowhere and that we are here to stay,” he said.
"I don't want customers to think we are closing down."
The enforcement notice states that the office, based on the corner of Glebe Street and Plassey Street above Max & Co and The Olive Tree, had failed to get a change of use planning application from office use to a taxi firm office and it was therefore a breach of planning control.
After he was first served with an enforcement order he submitted retrospective planning permission, which was recommended to be approved by the Penarth Town Council, but this was refused by the Vale Council on the grounds that it would be “detrimental to the amenities of nearby residential occupiers by virtue of unacceptable noise and general disturbance from the operations of the office, adversely impacting upon the living conditions of neighbours, and would also result in additional pressure for on-street parking where there is a current lack of parking provision”
Mr Mais, who employs 14 staff and three office workers, described the planning wrangles as “frustrating” and said that the grounds on which the application was refused were unfounded as he always kept the cars away from the office and dismissed concerns that the business disturbed local residents.
"We get no passing trade as the office doors are locked,” he said.
"We don't have people coming in all hours of the night, we have people ringing us up and the cars are kept away from here."
He added that he had invested heavily into the business and had distributed 20,000 coasters, 30,000 flyers, sponsored five skittles teams and put up 11 billboards in University Hospital Llandough.
"I just want it all sorted," he said.
"I will just carry on fighting it."
Mr Mais will now be appealing the decision.