Pub landlord hits out at local council over smoking

29 August 2008 by
Pub landlord hits out at local council over smoking

A pub landlord in York has hit out at his local council after it ordered him to knock down a gazebo put up for smokers in his garden - because of seven screws - or face a £20,000 fine.

The facility in The Shoulder of Mutton's beer garden was put in place after the English smoking ban was implemented last July.

Landlord Robin Watson used the screws to secure the gazebo to the ground, but York Council said the move breached planning rules.

Because it is fixed to the concrete and has been in place for more than a year, it is deemed permanent requires planning permission, the council insisted.

Watson accused the council of being petty, after it sent him a letter warning of the consequences of keeping the gazebo in place.

"They know how many pubs are closing down at the moment. I can't understand why they are pressing on with something so petty as this," he told the BBC.

"If you did this in your own back garden there would be no pressure whatsoever."

A spokeswoman for York Council said: "The council's planning enforcement team has written to the owners of the property asking them to take the structure down or apply for planning permission."

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By Daniel Thomas

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