Knutsford Town Council is the freehold owner of the property at 60 King Street, commonly known as the Belle Epoque. Since 2015 the Town Council has encountered numerous problems with its former tenant at 60 King Street, La Belle Epoque Limited. These have included non-payment of rent, frustration of essential maintenance, unauthorised alterations to the building and numerous court proceedings. The council had tried to work with La Belle Epoque to reach resolution on issues to no resolve.
La Belle Epoque Limited entered into a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) which was accepted by their notified creditors on 19th February 2019. The Town Council was not included or notified of the CVA.
In entering into the CVA, La Belle Epoque Limited, by their own action, have forfeited their lease for 60 King Street. Following legal advice and conscious of our responsibilities to the taxpayers of Knutsford the council does not deem it wise to enter into a new lease with an insolvent company and as such the decision was taken to issue possession proceedings against La Belle Epoque for return of the premises.
The relationship of landlord and tenant between the Town Council and La Belle Epoque is at an end. La Belle Epoque remain in the premises effectively as a trespasser until the Court grant formal possession of 60 King Street to the Town Council. The possession hearing is due to take place on 15th May 2019. It is therefore likely that La Belle Epoque will need to vacate the premises by the end of May and the building will then revert to the Council.
In June, following the newly elected councillors coming into office in late May, the Town Council will discuss the long-term management of the property. There will be a period of time, likely between 3-6 months, where the property is unoccupied, and the Town Council is unfortunately unable to offer the premises to hire during this period.
The Town Council has spoken with a number of wedding parties who had bookings at the property. Our advice is:
- If you have wedding insurance, speak with your insurers
- If you made payments to the company on credit card, speak with your card providers
- Seek legal advice
- Speak with Cheshire East Council’s registration department – changing premises will require new notice be given for the marriage