THE future of a small Wilmslow bike repair business is at risk of closing after Cheshire East Council rejected a retrospective planning application for its Knutsford Road premises.

Michael Troup runs Bike9 from a shed on his father’s driveway, where he set up three years ago to allow him to look after his father while running his small independent business.

Mr Troup had not realised a planning application was needed for the non-fixed structure, but submitted one in late 2019 after a member of the public lodged a complaint to the council.

After almost a year, Cheshire East Council has rejected the application following strong opposition from neighbours, forcing Bike9 to close unless a future appeal is successful.

In its response to the application, the council alluded to neighbour’s objections as one reason for refusing to give planning permission.

The statement said: “The existing use adversely affects the amenities of neighbouring [properties], due to the increase in activity, comings and goings and resultant disturbance.

“The development does not achieve a high standard of amenity to existing occupiers. It also fails to contribute positively to the character and identity of the area, as a result of its poor relationship with neighbouring properties.”

Mr Troup contested the outcome, saying while the business was busy at the start of the first Covid-19 lockdown due to a sharp increase in the amount of people taking up cycling, it is now back to receiving two or three customers per day.

He also criticised the neighbours who opposed the application, including one who used the bike repair service free of charge.

“He says he’s stood there one day and watched the road. I find it very sad, to be honest,” Mr Troup said.

“We’ve had a neighbour hanging over the hedge taking photographs of people pulling in and out of the drive,” he added.

And to another neighbour who complained about a sign placed on the road, he responded: “If he doesn’t like signs, why buy a house next door to a bloody great big building that’s got Travis Perkins plastered all over it?”

Mr Troup, whose brother owns the property next door, added that the neighbours should be careful what they wish for, pointing out that while the council may refuse a small bike repair business running out of a shed, it is unlikely they would refuse permission to build multiple townhouses on the site.

He said: “They’ll regret it if I don’t get it. We own both houses, and we would sell them to developers.

“Whether it takes six months or 12 months, a developer will get permission to put 24 townhouses on here. So they’ll be worse off at the end of it anyway.”