A FIVE-year-row over damages at a Glasgow shop and the cost to repair them has reached boiling point.


Holistic boutique Ladywell Crystals and Healing in High Street has accused City Property Glasgow of "killing" the business by demanding a repair bill for damage, which they argue is historic.

Owner of the shop Samantha Cooper, 45, says they will go out to business if they are forced to pay thousands of pounds to fix dry rot and damp.

A demonstration against City Property - Glasgow City Council's arm's-length company - was held in the city on the Monday.

Supporters of the small firm, including politicians, went to the City Property offices to deliver a petition with 5000 signatures in support of Ladywell.

Ms Cooper claims she was unaware of the damage, which includes an open sewer in the basement of the shop, when she began leasing the unit in 2009.

City Building says it is asking for around £5000 but Ms Cooper says that will put the shop out of business.

Ms Cooper, who also runs 23 Enigma, two doors down from Ladywell, said she had invested her life's saving in the shop and can not afford to stump up payment for damage.

She said: "They are killing our business. They are going to make people unemployed. For five years we've been in this fight and nothing has been resolved.

"When we decided to open a store a few doors down from 23 Enigma we had no idea about the dry rot and the open sewer.

"In 2012 we were told the cost was £30,000 and we could just never pay that. We have been repeatedly asking City Property to answer our questions and they are not cooperating."

Glasgow Kelvin MSP Sandra White is backing the High Street firm.

She said: "I am fully behind Samantha.

"This area should be the jewel in the crown. But it's been neglected all these years. We talk about regenerating the Merchant city, regenerating Glasgow, well now is our chance to do something about High Street, it's an opportunity.

"These independent retailers are being asked to pay for historic damage and that's just not fair.

"They were asked to pay £30,000 to start with - imagine that hanging over your head?

"Now once we kicked up fuss it went down to £6000. But you have to ask, why is there no common sense? Why can't they get round the table with these businesses to come to a proper agreement?"

Greens Councillor Nina Baker said the problem extended to other shops.

She said: "Ladywell are not the only people affected. There are retailers down in the Saltmarket and Trongate who are experiencing a similar thing.

"It is as though these retailers are being asked to pick up it up in one blow after years of general neglect.

"We should be supporting these kinds of businesses not trying to put them out of business."

The shop is factored by Glasgow Housing Association (GHA).

A spokesman from City Property said they were "actively" engaging with the tenant and they were "disappointed" by the protestors at Monday's protest.

He added: "City Property has not imposed any additional repairing obligations on this tenant.

"The tenant signed a full repairing and insuring lease.

"As such, the terms of this lease clearly state that the tenant is responsible for arranging and meeting the cost of internal repairs and maintenance to the premises."

The spokesman said City Property was not responsible for arranging repairs or the cost of the them.

They said they would work with the tenant to agree a repayment plan.