Planning battle over pier's candy store
PUBLISHED: 08:00 03 February 2012
THE owner of Burnham Pavilion has vowed to resist legal action by Sedgemoor District Council ordering her to demolish her new candy store conservatory.
The popular seafront pier - the shortest in the country - is owned by Louise Parkin, aged 49, and has been in her family for almost 44 years.
However, the council has issued an enforcement notice demanding the demolition of its new conservatory, which Ms Parkin uses as a seating area and sweet shop, because it does not have planning permission.
Ms Parkin said since her family first bought the pier there have been 12 different changes to the pavilion - none of which have planning permission.
The owner, who is also a town councillor, believes this is not needed because the pier is a ‘permitted development’ and she can build whatever is needed, as long as it falls within certain parameters in regards to amusement parks and piers.
She said: “Over the past 44 years we have extended to the left, to the right, built offices and have not had planning permission for any of it.
“When the council came back to me about the conservatory I said this was included in parks and piers development.
“I have never applied for planning permission before, so let’s have some consistency. As far as I’m concerned I’m well within the law.”
Ms Parkin said she wants to keep the pavilion up-to-date and interesting for customers.
She said: “ A total of 287 arcades have closed since September 2007 as well as five piers and I do not want to become one of those statistics, so we are evolving. It’s our way forward and it’s worked very well.
“My whole family is involved in arcades and piers. My sister runs Clarence Pier in South Sea, and so we know the laws. My mother and father are aged 72 and 75 and they still work, it’s just the way we are.”
A Sedgemoor spokesman said: “An enforcement notice was issued in January 2011 for demolition.
“The owners requested an extension of time to remove the building and they were given until October 31 to remove the building. This they failed to do.
“The council wrote to the owners and had no alternative but to take legal proceedings.
“The owners have been informed they can apply for planning permission but this they have failed to do. Sedgemoor District Council hopes that this will be submitted in the near future.”