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Stirling Corner Christmas tree trader issued with enforcement notice by TfL
A Christmas tree seller will be forced out of his spot over claims he did not have permission to sell on the land.
Aaron McDonagh moved his festive trees and caravan onto an empty patch of land in the slip road outside Morrisons, near Stirling Corner roundabout, Borehamwood, last week.
But Transport for London (TfL), which owns the land, said he has not been given any authorisation to be there and yesterday issued an enforcement notice telling him to leave.
The transport agency issued the same notice last year, after residents were concerned the trees could act as a distraction to people driving through the accident hot spot.
A statement from TfL said: “We are aware of the concerns about selling Christmas trees here. Last year we issued a notice to deter this kind of activity.
“A new notice has been issued again and this year, TfL will be discussing with the local council to see whether additional enforcement is required at this location in December.”
But Mr McDonagh claimed he spoke to TfL, Hertsmere Borough Council and his lawyers before setting up his trees on the patch of land.
He said he took the business over from previous traders last year for an undisclosed amount of money.
Before the deal went through, Mr McDonagh said a TfL representative gave him permission to sell there – provided the trees did not go near the telephone poles.
He added: “I spoke to everyone I was supposed to speak to before buying the land because I know all the legal routes.
“I have all the right kind of public liability insurance too. I was told by the council I do not need a trading license to sell there.
“I am an honest man just trying to make a living. I even donated trees to a few old age homes in the area.
“I know what the problem is with TfL – that roundabout is a hot spot for accidents but that is not down to my Christmas trees. I am only there three weeks a year.”
A statement from Hertsmere Borough Council said the land is owned by TfL which is dealing with the matter, but they are willing to support and help TfL wherever they can.
Mayor of Hertsmere Pat Strack said: “It is dangerous, the sooner he is removed from the spot the better. It makes me very mad – it distracts motorists as they drive through the roundabout.
“Everyone knows it is an accident spot, there have been crashes and near misses so this does not help matters. I am delighted that TfL acted so promptly.”