Newhaven Beach cafe owners told to leave and have had to close People also forced to pay £2 to access beach till 8pm affecting trade of new fish and chip van. (previously used to be 5pm till the van opened)
We have been contacted by customers of ‘Lins Cafe’ situated on The West Beach Promenade in Newhaven who are appalled by the way Lins landlords ‘Rosnick Ltd’ have treated them.
Lins owners were happy to meet one of the Sussex.News team
It was a dream to have a little cafe by the seaside and at the end of July 21 that dream was able to come true as an existing trader at The West Beach Newhaven was selling a catering van with pitch as he was expanding into a larger Portacabin, still under renovation.
After consulting Rosnick it was agreed that Lin could trade from the location and they opened in August 2021 trading as ‘Lins’.
Lins soon started to build up a trade of both passing and regular customers.
Towards the end of 2021 it was clear that the person they had purchased the catering van from was not having the time to renovate the Portacabin so they made an offer to buy it.
Before the deal went through they messaged Rosnick to see if they had any objections to Lin buying the cabin and completing the renovations.
No objections were given so in December 2021 Lin purchased the cabin and continued with the renovations while still trading from the catering van.
They tell us they have spent around £10.000 renovating the cabin installing catering grade Stainless Steel equipment, commercial grade kitchen flooring etc,
The dream finally came true when they opened the doors in February 2022.
Since February they have continued to build the business with regular customers coming from Hastings, Tunbridge Wells, and even London.
Its more than just a cafe, selling a cuppa and cake.
About 2 weeks after they opened in the new cafe one of the Rosnick Team visited with bad news.
Their lease had been renegotiated by their landlord (Newhaven Port) and it was now costing more so all of the traders rents would need to go up.
For Lins Cafe the rise was £20 a week, or £1040 a year. On top of that the communal bin usage that was previously included in the rent was now withdrawn. With Private hire of bins the rent has now increased from £560 to £700 a month.
This is around 75% higher than the Seaford traders pay and they have free parking and toilets at each end of the seafront.
Lins have found out in the last few days that this was a blatant lie. Rosnick didn’t have and still don’t have a lease for the area, they have an interim licence which is completely different.
Despite the rent increase we have always paid the rent and are not in arrears.
In May 2022 the landlords sent a copy of the 6 month electricity bill to all of the traders.
Because they had no idea how much each trader had used they wanted to split it up equally.
Lins partner who is an ex electrician had installed an electricity check meter in their business and was able to tell exactly how much energy they had used and as such how much they were paying.
Lins believe that the Rosnick were expecting them to pay considerably more but could prove how much they had used and this seems to have upset them..
A few days later one the landlords sent a Whatsapp message to Lin but instead of it being a private business matter the landlord chose to send it on an open group with multiple users.
The reason given for asking them to leave and we quote “it seems that communication between us has completely broken down. This is not how we want to carry on, we both run other businesses and have enough stress as it is. Furthermore, you’ve fallen out with Lorraine on the gate, we’ve had countless complaints about your rudeness/opening times and waiting times for peoples food. So, we think it’s best that you to move on at the end of the month which is when you’ve paid up until for the pitch.”
In the last few days & without warning Rosnik have extended the chargeable parking times, previously 8am to 5pm, now increased to 8pm. Coinciding with the opening times of the new fish and chip van at the beach this will not help their fledgling business.
It is Sussex News understanding that Rosnick Ltd are to potentially receive around £4 million of the chancellors Levelling up grant to build a new restaurant at the West Beach to help regenerate the community.
It seems to us that the small group of traders already there are doing a great job of this while offering a range of products,
Sussex.News have tried to find a contact from Rosnick Ltd but they only have a postal address at a accountants firm in Polegate
Newhaven Port Authority harbour master has said “The west promenade is under the management of Rosnick LTD, Who are licensed to allow suitable activities to take place on the promenade . It is their decision to allow and disallow those activates and complaints need to be directed to them. “
MP Maria Caulfield has said to a number of people by email “The land is owned by Lewes Council she is making urgent enquiries”.
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