Pub owners told to take down timber terrace and marquee

THE owners of a Swansea bar and a country pub have been told to take down a terrace and marquee.

Customers at The Bookshop, Uplands, have become used to the timber and perspex terrace at the back, which sits above a flat roof.

Swansea Council said it was put there without permission and had to come down, prompting an appeal.

Now, a Welsh Government-appointed planning inspector has upheld the council’s enforcement notice and said the terrace, including fencing, must be removed within three months.

Sililo Martens, the owner of The Bookshop, said he wanted to work with the council to find a solution for the rear area.

“We are here for the long run,” he said.

Mr Martens said the terrace fencing had been erected to prevent any possible overlooking onto neighbouring properties.

Planning inspector Clive Nield said he did not consider this to have been achieved.

He concluded that the timber terrace was “unacceptably harmful” to the character and appearance of the Uplands Conservation Area.

Mr Nield said he had taken into account the possibility of using planning conditions to make the development acceptable, and agreed with Mr Martens that the rear lane in question was not particularly attractive.

The Bookshop is one of several bars, cafes and restaurants on Uplands Crescent.

“We are independents along that strip,” said Mr Martens. “We are trying to make a living, and we’ve invested quite a bit of money into Uplands ourselves.

“We bring quite a bit of footfall during the day, not just the night.”

He said The Bookshop had an in-house rule that customers were not allowed on the terrace after 11pm.

“We are trying to be supportive, where we can, with residents,” he said.

Another planning inspector has told the owner of The Shepherds Country Inn, Felindre, to take down the garden marquee within a month.

The inspector, Alwyn Nixon, said he had considered an argument from the pub’s owner that restricting use of the marquee to a maximum of 10 days per year could be an option.

But Mr Nixon described this argument as flawed, and would be tantamount to the granting of planning permission.

The pub’s owner, Bryan Davies, had previously appealed a council decision which turned down his retrospective application to retain the marquee.

That led to the council serving an enforcement notice.

In his enforcement appeal decision, Mr Nixon said he had noted other points raised about the level of actual harm caused by the marquee and the extent of the council’s assessment of this prior to issuing the notice.

But he concluded the authority had been entitled to go through with enforcement.

Speaking last July, businessman Mr Davies said the marquee was predominantly used for charitable and Welsh language events.

He said he had bought the pub in 2016 to save it from closing.

“I’m hoping common sense might prevail,” he said.

Mr Davies’ planning agent said the recent enforcement appeal decision was “incredibly frustrating”.

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