Published: September 7, 2012
Burnham-On-Sea pier owner quits council role over legal dispute

The owner of Burnham-On-Sea's pier has quit one of her town council roles as she tries to resolve a legal dispute with Sedgemoor District Council over the future of a controversial sweet shop on the forecourt of the pier.

Louise Parkin, pictured, has this week submitted a formal planning application to keep the building, supported by a petition of 1,160 supporters.

At the same time, she has resigned as a member of the Town Council's Planning Applications Committee as she fights Sedgemoor's enforcement team who are requesting that the white conservatory building is removed. first reported earlier this year that the council had requested that the white conservatory, which is used as a sweet shop, be demolished because it was installed "without planning permission" and is "out of keeping". However, Louise is adamant that it does not require permission because it is a 'Permitted Development' under UK planning laws for amusement parks.

This week, she told "I feel a formal planning application is unnecessary but submitting it to the district council halts the enforcement action and will also hopefully draw the matter to a close if retrospective permission is granted."

She added: "I confirm that I have resigned from the Town Council's Planning Applications Committee because I feel Sedgemoor has made my role untenable."

"I have also told the Town Council that if at any time they feel my presence is awkward then I will resign as a councillor altogether."

Louise thanked the 1,160 people who have signed her petition, adding: "The vast majority of people can see we are just trying to run a tourism business and want to keep the Pavilion running. This has been our worst season for 43 years and the kiosk has been a life-saver, providing essential shelter to customers during a very wet few months."

Sedgemoor's Corporate Relations Manager, Claire Faun, defended the legal action, saying: "Sedgemoor District Council has a duty to apply the planning regulations equitably within the law."


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