Threat to Frankie museum

PUBLISHED: 08:00 15 June 2006 | UPDATED: 09:27 24 May 2010

POPULAR charity events held at Frankie Howerd's former home in Cross could be stopped by Sedgemoor District Council

POPULAR charity events held at Frankie Howerd's former home in Cross could be stopped by Sedgemoor District Council.Wavering Down House has become an overnight visitor sensation as a museum to all things Frankie following a high profile media campaign by resident Chris O'Byrne.But the surge of visitors has upset some villagers, who have complained to Sedgemoor District Council about noise and traffic problems.The authority's planning enforcement department believes there is a problem and referred the case to its planning department for a review. Planning officer Colin Arnold said: "We have decided that what is happening at Wavering Down House requires planning permission."The fact that so many events are being held there means it is ceasing to become a normal dwelling."The case has been put through to the development control team for planning assessment. We could halt events altogether, decide to limit the number of things held there to a reasonable number or limit the numbers of visitors."If the owner does not apply for a change of use and we decide the events are unacceptable, we would have to take enforcement action."It's a difficult case because we are not dealing with a building without planning permission, we are dealing with events that might or might not happen."It would be very difficult for us to prove that planning rules had been breached on previous occasions. Any enforcement action would stop events happening again."Sedgemoor's licensing department is not taking action relating to the events. Anyone is legally entitled to hold 12 limited events for up to 499 people per site per year under temporary event notices.Mr O'Byrne said: "If they can't get you one way they will get you another."I have been told that if I remove the word museum and just say 'Frankie Howerd's House and Garden', it will be fine. "I've already painted out the word museum from my signs, but I will be applying for change of use to a museum."Events at Wavering Down House have raised thousands of pounds for various local and national good causes.

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