RESIDENTS have expressed their outrage after a family-run cycle firm's store was repossessed.

Winklebury Cycles owner Gary Langron was left devastated last Thursday when he arrived to find he was blocked from entering his own shop by his landlord Vivid.

“They refused me entry or access to my stock, caused damage to my goods and effectively threw me out onto the street,” Gary told The Gazette.

Vivid, one of Basingstoke’s largest landlords, managing 30,000 homes in the south east, said it took control of the building due to “serious breaches of the lease which included the illegal removal and disposal of asbestos”.

Gary rubbished these claims and said: “I feel it’s just a way of getting rid of a tenant ready for their new development.”

You can read the full story here.

Since the story came to light on Wednesday, residents have expressed their outrage over the decision.

More than 150 comments were left on the Gazette's Facebook page regarding the story.

One resident said: "That really breaks my heart. Surely there must be something we can do as a community?"

Another added: "These guys have been around for years."

A third wished the team well, saying: "So sad, Gary [has] been part of the community for years, such a lovely man."

Another labelled Vivid's behaviour in the dispute "disgusting", adding: "You should have fixed this problem when first told."

Other social media users expressed their disappointment that stores seem to be closing, saying: "Life is so sad, there is going to nothing left, all online."

One added: "My family has brought bikes for years from Gary and has always been fantastic to deal with.

"This is a shame, I hope this gets dealt with quickly and swiftly, especially in the current climate.

"Cycling is a key exercise at the moment and a family run local business needs [our] support."

Vivid responded to Gary's criticism of their handling of the situation.

Jonathan Cowie, chief operating officer at Vivid, said: “I can confirm that it’s been essential for us to take repossession of this commercial unit due to serious breaches of the lease which included the illegal removal and disposal of asbestos arranged by the tenant.

“This is despite us trying to arrange access to the property to allow for the safe and controlled disposal of any harmful material, and included offering alternative commercial space for the business to continue trading during the works but this was refused.

“Unfortunately this illegal activity left us with no option but to take repossession and for the shop to stop trading.

“We would like to reassure the local community that the property is being secured to prevent access and the relevant authorities have been notified, including the Health and Safety Executive.

“The safety of the public is our top priority and this is a matter we take extremely seriously. Works will be undertaken to ensure the building is safe to occupy in the future.”

Want to have your say? Write us a letter and email it to