Planning for the summer - with no shade for visitors...

OUTRAGED hoteliers on Weston seafront have been told to take down their expensive table parasols - then apply for permission to put them

OUTRAGED hoteliers on Weston seafront have been told to take down their expensive table parasols - then apply for permission to put them back up.Seafront hoteliers who have 'fixed' umbrellas outside their premises have branded North Somerset Council 'crazy', 'short sighted' and guilty of using 'red-tape madness' after being told they need planning permission to keep them in position overnight.John Tsaroullas, owner of Smiths Hotel, Mentone Hotel, Nick's Bar and Barzaar, said: '"One minute the council is trying to promote an upmarket Weston to attract tourists, and the next we are told that we need permission for quality parasols, leaving the whole seafront bare in the meantime. "Now we will have to revert to flimsy plastic pub parasols that blow away in the wind. We were going to spend £45,000 on new electronic parasols for all of our premises. The larger ones can take up to six people to take down."If it's not the sea wall it's something else. It's red tape madness and makes you feel like giving up. I don't know what the council is up to. This is so short-sighted in the run-up to the Easter period."North Somerset Council says planning permission has always been required and that licensees are looking to install large parasol structures to enable customers to smoke outside the premises.Andy Peacock, of the Old Colonial Hotel, said: "With a smoking ban just around the corner it is an obvious money making scheme on the council's part. "Everyone who sits outside will be made to suffer for the council's actions."It is crazy. North Somerset wants us to draw more tourists to Weston, yet it puts restrictions like this in place. It's just a way of making money from planning applications."These parasols are all-weather ones and they are what the public expect to see."Chris Kimitri, owner of the Nook and Harbour added: "We have had these up for two years and now we are told we have to take them down and apply for permission."I expect it is a way of the council making more money."A spokesman for North Somerset Council said: "Planning permission has always been required for these types of structures. National planning guidelines make it a requirement which we have to enforce. "With the new non-smoking regulations coming into force in July many licensees are looking to install these types of structures to allow customers to smoke outdoors. But there needs to be the appropriate controls in place with regard to their location and appearance. "We are not saying that planning permission will not be given but that applications must be considered on their individual merits. "We would like to see schemes that will enhance the appearance of the properties and will be of benefit to tourists and residents alike.


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