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Friday, 25 January, 2002, 17:25 GMT
Feng shui shopkeeper loses court case
The art of feng shui has become increasingly popular
A Chinese shopkeeper who claimed his business would suffer because of poor feng shui if he was forced to move, has lost his fight against relocation.

Tak Ping Yeung claimed his family's human rights would be infringed by moving his gift shop in London's Chinatown from 6 Gerrard Street to 4 Gerrard Street to make way for a new restaurant.

The two buildings, owned by Waller Investment Trust, are said to be practically identical, except for one thing - four is considered a bad omen.

But Judge Anthony Hallgarten dismissed the claim.

Tak Ping Yeung's gift shop in China Town
The shop has traded since 1979 at No 6

He told the Central London County Court hearing it was no different to someone not wanting to move because they feared the house was haunted, or on the basis of an astrological prediction.

"While I entirely respect and accept his belief in feng shui, I do not think that the landlord is obliged to comply with beliefs that would stifle normal economic interests," he said.

Since 1979, Mr Yeung, 49, has been trading successfully in ornaments, charms and horoscopes, and believes the shop's good fortune is down to feng shui, the ancient art of arranging furniture and spaces to maximise health and prosperity.

But he claimed that moving the shop to number four - a number that sounds like "death" in Chinese - would spell doom for the family's prosperity, and even pose a threat to their physical well-being.

Lawyers representing Mr Yeung's landlord today withdrew the offer to move into number four, but instead offered him 67,000 in compensation.

However, Mr Yeung, who was not in court to hear the ruling, was ordered to pay costs, which are expected to be at least 40,000.

Simon Serota, from Wallace and Partners, the law firm acting for the landlord, said he was very happy with the result.

"It is what we had always expected," he said.

He added that had the decision been different, it could have had serious implications for future planning cases.

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See also:

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Feng shui booms in China
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