A motor company whose bid to take over a car park has been met with opposition from neighbouring businesses claims it is being unfairly victimised.

Chigwell Motors, in Chigwell Road, Woodford Bridge, has applied for permission to store vehicles at the leased site, but other traders say their customers will have nowhere to park and profits will be hit.

A petition signed by more than 500 people has been submitted to Redbridge Council opposing the application.

But Reece Khan, communications director at Chigwell Motors, said the company had stopped people taking drugs in the car park and other anti-social behaviour.

He said: “This car park was closed and empty before, there was a real problem of anti-social behaviour and drugs being used here, so by taking over the site that has stopped.

“We cleared out the car park with the backing of local residents. It was a considerable expense, with many needles and broken bottles on the site.

“The company are being unfairly victimised. If the application does not go through then this criminal activity could start again.

“We are just another business trying to generate an income. We have a good reputation in the area, we pay our taxes and employ local people.

Redbridge Council is due to make a decision on the application on Monday.