Kiltmaker vows to fight on as Gold Bros win court case

Geoffrey Nicholsby has been in a long-running feud with Gold Bros over the entrance space at the Castlehill site
Geoffrey Nicholsby has been in a long-running feud with Gold Bros over the entrance space at the Castlehill site
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TARTAN tat kings the Gold Brothers have won the latest legal battle in their long- running feud with celebrity kiltmaker Geoffrey Nicholsby.

Mr Nicholsby sued the entrepreneurial family after accusing them of creating a “fire risk” in the Castlehill building their businesses share.

Geoffrey Nicholsby

Geoffrey Nicholsby

The kiltmaker leases part of the building from the Gold Brothers, who bought it for £6 million in 2007.

Lawyers for Mr Nicholsby claimed that the Gold Brothers were risking public safety and breaching the terms of the lease by using a central foyer supposed to be a fire exit as an extension to their retail area.

But Sheriff Principal Mhairi Stephen ruled in the Gold Brothers’ favour at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, adding that the “total absence” of enforcement action by the authorities over a potential fire risk had influenced her decision.

Now Mr Nicholsby has pledged to fight on. He said: “It’s not finished yet. In this case we only took out an interim interdict because we thought that may have been a quicker way to solve the problem. The sheriff only heard evidence we had presented before.

“Now we have new evidence, including a report from an architect and another from the council’s building department. We’ve now served the full interdict and a hearing has been set for January.

“We’re determined not to lose and always felt that it was likely to take a full hearing. We’ve a very strong case.”

His lawyers had presented a fire risk assessment to the Edinburgh Sheriff Court carried out by Borders Fire Safety Services Ltd, which referred to the “inadequacy of the means of escape from a fire”.

The firm’s assessment said the entrance area should be “sterile” with “no obstructions or flammable material”.

Mr Nicholsby previously told the Evening News that his business has also suffered as a result of the Gold Brothers trading in the foyer area. He said: “It is not doing us any good at all because people just look in and see a mass of tacky stuff and don’t realise there’s a weaving mill in there as well.”

But lawyers for the Gold Brothers told Edinburgh Sheriff Court that Mr Nicholsby had not identified “any legal wrong” in the use of the foyer, while any claim that the lease obligated them to keep it “sterile” was a “distortion”.

In her written decision, Sheriff Stephen ruled that the fire assessment “is not evidence which supports the proposition that the entrance must be kept completely clear at all times”.

She added: “That definition of sterile does not impart to me a meaning from which I should infer that it must be a completely clear area but rather one clear of obstructions or flammable material.”

The Gold Brothers could not be reached for comment.