A MAN who parked a tank in protest outside the Basingstoke Wickes store has been warned that it will be removed or destroyed, but he has vowed to keep it there.

As previously reported, Paul Gibbons from Kingsclere parked the vehicle outside the Wickes in Basingstoke in December in protest against the company which installed his kitchen in February 2023.

The 63-year-old has demanded a refund from Wickes for his “poor quality” £25,000 kitchen installation at his home, which he claims has been plagued with issues including mould under the sink, to badly fitting units with a poor finish, and one heavy drawer nearly collapsing on his dog.

Basingstoke Gazette: The vehicle has been parked outside Wickes since DecemberMr Gibbons parked the huge vehicle – a 1963 decommissioned Abbot self-propelled gun which he borrowed from a friend who lends it to people who want to protest against big companies – outside the store on December 27 and declared he won’t move it until he receives a refund.

An acrostic sign for 'Wickes' places on the vehicle read 'Warning Incompetent Complacent Kitchen Equipment Supplier.'

However, a sign has now been posted on the vehicle warning that it will be removed ‘within 14 days’ of the date of the notice which is January 23.

The sign, from Wickes, states: “This vehicle / item as been notified to us as being abandoned and / or not having valid road tax and will be removed within 14 days of this notice being issued.

“If this vehicle is not abandoned, please contact us on the below number immediately and / or arrange for it to be removed from site.”

It warns that failure to remove the vehicle within 14 days will result in it being “sold or destroyed”.

It adds: “Should it become necessary to store, sell, or dispose of the goods then Wickes Building Supplies Limited shall account to you for the proceeds of sale after deducting the reasonable expenses of storage sale and disposal.”

Mr Gibbons has hit back and said he has no intention to remove the vehicle, adding: “I intend to stay as long as it takes for justice.”

He added: “I find it bizarre that Wickes can choose which bits of the law they will obey. The tank is there as a peaceful protest.”

Mr Gibbons said he will contact the police if Wickes tries to remove or destroy the vehicle, adding: “If they wish it to be moved there is a simple solution – pay me back what they have of mine and my out-of-pocked expenses. I am not looking for huge amounts of compensation, I just want to be back to where I was last year when this debacle started.

“I find it obscene that having money, therefore power, makes them think that they are above the law.”

A spokesperson for Wickes has said: "As the tank remains on our premises we are operating within our legal rights  to issue the owner with a TORT notice. This requires that it is removed from our premises within 14 days, and if it is not we will have it removed by a specialist company. We would like to apologise to customers who have been inconvenienced or concerned by the tank in any way.

"We arranged a full and independent inspection of Mr Gibbon’s kitchen by The Furniture & Home Improvement Ombudsman. They assessed that 2-3 days remedial work would be required to bring the kitchen up to a satisfactory standard. Mr Gibbons rejected our offer so the work has not yet been completed.

"However, as the safety and wellbeing of our team members is our number one priority, and following incidents when Mr Gibbons has demonstrated unacceptable and aggressive behaviour towards members of our team, we reported these incidents to the police and took the decision to issue him with an exclusion notice preventing him from entering our premises. Unfortunately, Mr Gibbons has failed to comply with the exclusion notice."