pier owner takes legal dispute to council chief executive
owner of Burnham-On-Sea's pier has this week written to Sedgemoor
District Council's Chief Executive in a bid to resolve her legal
wrangle with the council over whether a conservatory on her forecourt
should be demolished.
Pavilion's Manager, Louise
Parkin, says she has been "bowled over with support"
from residents since Burnham-On-Sea.com exclusively reported last
week that the
council has issued the UK's shortest pier with an Enforcement
Notice, requesting that the white conservatory, which is used
as a sweet shop, be demolished because it has been installed without
permission and is 'out of keeping'.
is adamant that she does not require planning permission because
the building is a 'Permitted Development' under planning regulations
relating to amusement parks and she adds the building is not of
out keeping with nearby properties.
told Burnham-On-Sea.com this week: "I have had lots of people
who saw the story come up to me to give their support against
the council. The vast majority of people can see we are just trying
to run a business and keep the Pavilion running."
week, she has written to Sedgemoor District Council chief executive
Kerry Rickards to ask him to step in and resolve the matter.
In the letter, she writes: "My family have spent a fortune
and most of their lives bringing the Pavilion up to spec. Twice
we have almost lost it and both times by the generosity of the
town's people it has been saved."
"Over the 44 years we have been here we have extended the
Pavilion several times and have also put up at least 12 kiosks.
Every time we did this the district council would approach us
and insist on us putting in planning permission."
"Our reply was, as always, that it was a permitted development
as an amusement park/seaside pier. Every time this was accepted
by the council and we heard no more until the next time when they
would try it again with the same result."
time, the same thing happened and I assumed the procedure would
as normal be repeated. I saw no reason to appeal as I never had
to before. What the council did this time was inconsistent."
the beginning the reason for the injunction was because it was
the view of the officer involved that it was neither a booth,
nor a stall. However, that is not the case as it is a Candy Stall.
It now houses two candy floss machines and a popcorn machine and
a counter plus shelving specialising in sweets, fairings and hampers
as well as freshly made candy floss."
"We are one of the very few catering concessions in the town
that opens until 10pm in the summer - a fact that coach drivers
fully appreciate as if Burnham is their last stop there is very
little choice for their customers to get refreshments. Also, what
is left of the council toilets closes at 5.45pm whereas ours are
open till 10pm. We opened ours fully a few years ago in response
to SDC shutting many of theirs. The cost to us for helping out
was in excess of £13,000 for which we asked nothing from
"I am fully aware of our civic responsibilities and have
no wish to be at odds with SDC but in this instance we have, as
normal, taken legal advice as well speaking to all my friends
and relatives with piers and parks around Britain. As far as we
are concerned, we are in the right."
"Over the last few years, since the introduction of the
Gambling act 2005 in September 2007, 287 seaside arcades and five
piers have closed and we are struggling the same as everyone else
in this business. In fact, the arcade has failed to make any profit
for the last four years and it is only the catering that is keeping
us afloat. What we need is support - not one officer making a
nuisance of themselves."
Sedgemoor District Council has not yet responded to the letter.