Hotel boss blasted for lack of respect

The marquee at The Villa which is at the centre of a planning wrangle
The marquee at The Villa which is at the centre of a planning wrangle
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A COUNTRY hotel has been blasted for flouting planning regulations after putting a marquee in the wrong place just days after it was granted planning permission.

The Villa, in Wrea Green, won planning permission for a temporary marquee in their grounds back in November – but built it in the wrong place and without complying with all the necessary planning conditions put in place when it was granted.

And yesterday – as Fylde councillors extended the original six month permission until the start of 2012 – the hotel was criticised for showing a “lack of respect” to the council’s development control department.

Coun Maxine Chew said: “I’m really extremely concerned about this applicant’s lack of respect for this committee and this council.

“Applications have come in retrospectively and even when he has the approval he’s still not built it to how it’s been approved.”

Coun Liz Oades added: “We did put conditions on last time and they’ve been flouted. I think it shows a lack of respect and a certain arrogance.”

But Simon Rigby, The Villa’s owner, told The Gazette he had apologised to the planning officer for the mistakes with the marquee.

Responding to the accusations, Mr Rigby said: “Nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve personally apologised to the planning officer over the inadvertent breaches of the letter of planning law.

“The most important thing is everything is normalised as far as The Villa is concerned.”

Last time the marquee went before the development control committee residents objected, but on this occasion ward councillor Frank Andrews spoke in support of the application.

He said: “We’ve had a difficult start with The Villa and retrospective applications have upset local villagers.

“I think we’re now fairly close to getting a regularised position with The Villa, something we all want to see.

“We can support this application and hopefully have a more comfortable relationship with The Villa from now on.”

The hotel had wanted to keep the marquee for a further 18 months, but the council felt this was “excessively lengthy for a trial” period.