Landlord apologises for unauthorised work at north Derbyshire pub

A landlord has apologised to planning chiefs for carrying out unauthorised alterations to his north Derbyshire pub.

Thursday, 19th May 2022, 10:53 am

Simon Oxspring, owner of The Kelstedge, on Matlock Road, Kelstedge, near Ashover, is now seeking planning permission to carry out changes at the venue.

His application to North East Derbyshire District Council has been ‘called-in’ by Councillor William Armitage, who says it should be heard by the planning committee and not decided by officers.

Coun Armitage, district councillor for Ashover, said this was due to the impact on the ‘community facility’ especially given ‘the number of alterations’ planned.

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A landlord has apologised to planning chiefs for carrying out unauthorised alterations to north Derbyshire pub The Kelstedge.

A planning statement, produced by Stainton Planning and published on the council’s website, says the work was carried out to help the venue through the lockdowns and Covid-19 pandemic.

“The works undertaken have been started with the best of intentions to enhance the public house and keeping the business going through difficult times,” documents say.

"The applicant has apologised to the council for starting the works before seeking consent.

“The council is obliged to consider the retrospective application as if it were for a proposed scheme.

“Local and national planning policies are keen to support the retention and expansion of community facilities such as this.

“We believe that the works are in keeping with the commercial character of the site and are not unduly prominent in public views.”

In 2021 council officers raised concern that various developments were being undertaken at the pub.

The planning statement says: “During the Covid lockdowns Mr Oxspring decided to make various alterations to his property to enhance the customer experience (particularly for those sitting outside), improve the public house kitchen and ‘back of house’ and extend their dwelling (Smithy Barn).

Mr Oxspring apologised to the council for commencing works without first checking whether planning permission was required.

“Following the appointment of Stainton Planning, Mr Oxpsring was advised to declutter the front of the pub.”

The current application seeks permission for cladding, timber lean-to shelter extension, alterations to the porch, two timber pergola seating structures, structure for forecourt sign, trellis fencing on top of a stone wall to west boundary and extensions to the rear of the pub and rear of Smithy Barn.

Also planned are a detached hobby workshop and rear 1.8m-high fencing to the northern boundary.