A BAR owner will be forced to remove decking from outside his premises after losing an enforcement appeal.

Somerset West and Taunton Council served an enforcement notice on Bar 21, on The Avenue, Minehead, ordering the business to remove timber decking, cladding, a toilet block and a rear extension.

Owner William Wynn appealed, arguing there had been no breaching of planning law and it was not reasonable to ask him to remove the additions.

But the Planning Inspectorate has now ruled in the council’s favour, meaning Mr Wynn will face further action if he fails to comply.

The council originally served an enforcement notice last August, alleging the following planning breaches:

  • Constructing a rear extension to the property;
  • Constructing a timber toilet block to the rear;
  • Erecting a 2.75m high timber fence and gates to the side and rear;
  • Erecting a timber pergola to the rear;
  • Constructing an area of raised decking in front of the property;
  • Installing timber cladding on two sides of the first floor.

Mr Wynn applied for retrospective planning permission for a number of the features in late-2018, but it was refused by the council in March 2020.

The bar lies within the Wellington Square conservation area in Minehead town centre, so has to comply with specific standards in terms of the design of the premises and the materials used.

The council ordered Mr Wynn to remove all of the additions within nine months of the notice being served, resulting in him lodging an appeal.

A planning inspector who visited the premises on March 3 concluded there had been a breach of planning control.

But he said Mr Wynn should be allowed to retain the fencing and gates, since there was a “balance of probability” that they had been completed in August 2016, outside the time period in which enforcement could take place.

He added: “It is accepted that the hospitality sector has been severely affected as a result of enforced closure.

“Notwithstanding this, and in view of the difficult trading situation that has arisen, I believe that a period of 12 months would be a reasonable compliance period.”

A separate appeal, asking the council to pay Mr Wynn’s legal costs, was dismissed.