Restaurant’s £2k bill for unauthorised decking

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A restaurant in the north of Stafford Borough has been hit with a £2,000 bill after installing decking without permission.

The wooden decking and balustrade were erected outside the Moments Restaurant in Meir Heath near Stone without planning permission. And when a retrospective planning application was submitted – and refused – Stafford Borough Council ordered the decking to be removed.

But the structure was still in place this June and restaurant owner, Mohammed Rafakat, admitted not complying with an enforcement notice. He was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £245.50 costs with a £120 victim surcharge by magistrates in Stafford.

The court was told the Council received a complaint from a neighbour of the property in Hilderstone Road, Meir Heath and the restaurant was served with an enforcement notice in January 2014.

Magistrates heard on Wednesday (7 October) it had been tenants who had the decking installed and they were no longer part of the business.

After the case, Councillor Frances Beatty, Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration, said:

“I hope this serves as a warning to others that if you don’t comply with planning rules you could find yourself facing prosecution and a large fine.

“If anyone is in any doubt about needing permission they should contact our planning department first.”

For advice on planning issues go to www.staffordbc.gov.uk/planning