A CONCERNED business owner fears he will go bust if a new planning application for a coffee kiosk goes ahead.

Paul Sankey, of Shrublands Road, Mistley, owns Manningtree Station Buffet, a business he has run for 20 years.

Mr Sankey, 64, said he heard about the application for another café at the station from customers without anyone else notifying him.

He said: “On the Tendring Council’s website there are already 130 objections to this plan.

“I guess those are all our customers and we’re not very happy about it.”

Mr Sankey said he had already been dealt a blow to his business by the new parking regime at the station.

He said: “The local builders used to come to buy breakfast or a roll and cup of tea but now there are parking charges of £8.50 per day, so we’ve lost them.

“After 20 years, they have also declined our two parking spaces so we have to pay.

“We’ve lost some staff because of it.”

Mr Sankey said there’s not enough custom for two businesses at the Manningtree Railway Station.

He added: “We have already lost money that way, now they are threatening to open another café which could be the last straw.

“If they are successful, we will be gone, or vice versa.

“I’ve worked 20 years to build up a business and it doesn’t make me feel good. I certainly believe there’s no place for two businesses.”

A Greater Anglia spokesman said there was the demand for a new café

He said: “Passenger numbers are increasing at Manningtree station and we want to make sure there are sufficient refreshment facilities at the station for them.

“We recently converted a disused part of the station with a view to it becoming a coffee kiosk.

“A separate company has lodged an application with the council to change the use to a commercial premises.

“Manningtree Buffet continues to serve customers at the station with a range of cooked food and hot and cold drinks including alcoholic drinks.

“More than a million people use Manningtree station every year and that number continues to increase. We want everyone to have a good journey when they travel with us and that includes providing a selection of places where they can buy refreshments.”