Petition launched to save train station café

A petition has been launched to save a local café after it was told it was not “trendy and rustic enough”.

Café Basmaccino at Norwood Junction in South London has reportedly been asked to sign a ‘tenancy at will’ agreement by the London Overground Rail Operations (LOROL), which means it could have to vacate the premises without notice.

This came after the café owner Rachid Yassine submitted plans to redesign the premises.

A petition has now been set up on Change.org, urging LOROL to renew Yassine’s lease at Café Basmaccino with less restrictive conditions.

One of the petition’s signers Chris Conneely said: “I don't want another chain café in a train station. I am not a regular traveller from Norwood Junction, but on the few occasions I have used the station I've always been pleasantly surprised by the warm welcome at Café Basmaccino.

“If LOROL is planning to turf out Rachid to make way for someone else, I urge them to reconsider.”

However, Mike Stubbs, director for London Overground, said Yassine is not being forced out.

He told the Croydon Guardian: “Small businesses are very important to us - we have more than 1,000 retail units on the TfL network with the majority occupied by independent and local traders.

"The current lease on the café at Norwood Junction is soon to expire.

"We are in continued discussions with the owners about improvements that can be made and we are keen to reach a mutually agreeable arrangement for the café and for customers using this station.”

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