Photo: Amusement Arcade, Lord Street
Planning Committee over-rules Brittania
Sefton Council’s planning committee have unanimously backed Southport councillor Tony Dawson and decided that Brittania can no longer waive the rules.
After listening to both Councillor Dawson and a solicitor representing Brittania Hotels last night at Bootle Town Hall, the planning committee voted unanimously to reject the hotel group’s bid to retain the amusement arcade, roller blind and shutters which they had brought in seventeen months ago without permission.
The Committee agreed with Cllr Dawson that the apparent contempt which the company was showing for the listed Building, the conservation area and the needs of the retail environment of Lord Street should not be tolerated any longer.
“I am only asking the Committee to enforce their own rules,” stated Cllr Dawson, “”The Council’s own officer, the Southport BID and individual traders are all working hard in a difficult trading environment to maintain Lord Street as a shopping destination. This amusement arcade works against that.”
Members of the Committee also expressed concerns about retrospective permissions sought for demolition of an internal wall in a listed building and other apparently ‘missing’ walls where consent had not been sought.
Councillor Dawson had ‘called the matter in’ to the Planning Committee many weeks ago after months of frustration over the impunity with which the hotel chain seemed to operate.
The Planning Committee, besides refusing the planning permission, also voted to support the officers of the Council in any enforcement action which they take on the matter.
After the decision, Councillor Dawson said:
“While this decision is good in itself, I remain concerned at the length of delay before it came for resolution. The Planning Committee members themselves said they don’t like people who go ahead before getting permission. In that case, they were talking about a couple of home owners in Crosby who had ‘jumped the gun’ by a few months but was given permission for their extension.
“In this case, we are talking about a major commercial operation who, as Cllr Haydn Preece said during the meeting, have no excuse for ‘not knowing better’ and who had gone ahead with activity which they must have had a good idea would be turned down.”
” I have written to the Chair of Planning seeking guarantees that the Committee will look at their procedures to see whether they can reduce the time that people seem do what they want to do regardless.”
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