Pub garden battle moves to courts
7:00am Friday 18th January 2013
PUB landlords have been summoned to court after failing to remove garden structures as ordered by a Hampshire council.
John and Lynda Butler have fought for more than three years to keep the beer garden and smoking shelter behind Butler’s Bar and Grill in Fordingbridge.
Officers at New Forest District Council first informed the Butlers they were breaching planning law in 2009, and the couple applied for retrospective planning permission for the wooden pergolas, decking and an ornamental fish pond that had been behind the pub since 2004, and a smoking shelter that had been there since the smoking ban was introduced in 2007.
But officers turned down the application and an appeal was dismissed. The couple put in a second application, which officers refused in June 2010, saying that the area had been granted permission for a car park in 1974 and no part of it was allowed to be used as a garden.
The pair were ordered to tear down the structures but fought back, launching a second appeal, which was also turned down by a planning inspector last January.
The Butlers were issued with an enforcement notice, but the structures have stayed in place.
They are due before Southampton magistrates on February 7 charged with breaching the council’s enforcement notice.