Smoking shelter could be removed

Dominic Bareham A PUB landlord could have to remove a £2,000 smoking shelter he had built behind his pub because he did not have planning permission for the structure.

Dominic Bareham

A PUB landlord could have to remove a £2,000 smoking shelter he had built behind his pub because he did not have planning permission for the structure.

Terence McDonald, 65, licensee of the Coach and Horses in Northgate Street, Great Yarmouth, has applied retrospectively for the wooden building, which can accommodate up to 20 smokers at a time.

But if his application is refused he could be faced with having to remove the shelter, which has cosy seats, lighting and numerous benches, within 21 days, which could have potentially dire consequences for his business during a time of economic gloom.


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“With the way the business is trading at the moment, with all the problems with the credit crunch and rising prices, it just makes you wonder what you have got to do sometimes to keep the trade going,” Mr McDonald said.

He said officers from

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the borough council visited

his pub six weeks ago

and explained he needed planning permission for the shelter in the pub's car park because it was a “bolted down” structure.

But Mr McDonald said he had consulted two or three friends in the building trade prior to installing the shelter who said he should not need planning permission because the shelter did not overlook any neighbouring properties. Furthermore, the shelter was not an extension to the pub and did not increase its overall capacity.

“From my neighbours' point of view I think it is better for them to have the shelter here. There are no people looking up into their windows and the enclosed structure helps to keep the noise down,” Mr McDonald added.

He said the shelter complied with the Smoke Free (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations 2006 which required that shelters must not have sides enclosing more than 50pc of the structure.

Originally, he had erected a marquee following the introduction of the smoking ban in July 2007, but this blew over during gale force winds in February so he decided to put up a more stable building in March.

Dean Minns, the borough council's development control manager, said any permanent structure on commercial premises such as the pub needed planning permission.

He said on residential properties some developments were allowed without planning consent, but not

on commercial. He added: “Being a pub they do not

have any rights to erect these things without consent. They need to apply for this type of thing on commercial premises.”

Mr Minns said consideration would be made of the impact on neighbouring houses when the planning application was submitted.

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