THE owner of an independent business which has been in the town for more than 20 years has spoken of her heartbreak and devastation at being asked to leave her premises by the landlord, to make way for a café.

Joanne Goodman was given notice in July by John Jervoise, landlord of Worting House, that she had until the end of the year to pack up her English Rose Beauty Salon and leave, having been there for 17 years.

The salon shut its doors at Worting House on September 1, after Joanne decided she didn’t want to continue paying rent to Mr Jervoise until the end of the year, describing him as “ruthless”.

The premises is set to be taken over by the owner of More of the Good Stuff Café in Dummer, who is relocating to Basingstoke.

Joanne, 50, said: “We have always been a really integral part of the community there and looked after lots of our lovely clients there for 17 years and we were in a really nice location in the manor house with lovely views.

“The landlord was approached by someone who wants to open a café and asked if he had any availability. It’s something he wanted to do for a while, and this woman came and had a look at our premises and he said she could have it. I was absolutely devastated. It was heart-breaking.”

The mother-of-five, who has two other salons in Overton and at Waxworks in Basingstoke town centre, built the business up when her children were young, adding: “I understand that business is business but from a moral point of view to take someone’s premises doesn’t feel right.”

She said as a result of the closure she had lost some clients who don’t want to travel, but said the majority will go to the other two salons instead, which she is going to now focus on rather than look for an alternative location.

Joanne said Mr Jervoise didn’t even deliver the notice in person, saying: “It sticks in your throat. On Sunday when I closed the doors, I had some tears.”

Mr Jervoise said: “English Rose has been a good long-term tenant at Worting House and we are very sad we had to ask them to move. The decision was a difficult business decision which we had to make, but we need a café on site and this is the only suitable location.

“We also gave five months’ notice, so I am sorry they decided not to look for alternative premises.”

Sash Newman, owner of More of The Good Stuff in Dummer, has submitted a planning application to the council to carry out work to the building before she relocates the cafe, which currently has around 500 customers a week.

Referring to Joanne losing her premises, she said: “It’s upsetting and unpleasant, but it’s business. I completely understand how she feels, of course she is upset.”