Council hit by 'jobsworth' claim

By Kevin Unitt Friday 14 December 2012 Updated: 19/12 07:48

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Pub operations director Charles Harris, left, with executive chef Nigel Brown at The Stag at Offchurch. (s)

COUNCIL chiefs have been criticised for their “jobsworth” attempts to shut down a village pub car park.

Bosses of The Stag at Offchurch are baffled by Warwick District Council's decision to serve an enforcement notice to close its car park.

Charles Harris, operations director at CD Pub Co, on behalf of The Stag, said it was causing major concern among villagers who may be forced to park on the surrounding roads, and suggested the impact on pub custom could even put the jobs of the ten full-time and up to 20 part-time staff at risk.

He added: “We really can’t understand this jobsworth action by the council -our car park is really needed and The Stag is a really popular pub.

“If the car park was closed there would be parking chaos in the village and if customers can’t park, the jobs of our young staff team are potentially at risk.’’

Villagers, as well as the parish council, have written to the planning inspector ahead of the meeting to ask for the car park to remain in operation, while Kenilworth and Southam MP Jeremy Wright has also demanded answers.

A spokesperson for the district council insisted the car park did not have planning permission.

They added: “The use of the land as a car park constituted a material change of use of the land requiring planning permission. Also the laying of the hard surface constituted an engineering operation, also requiring planning permission.

“The Stag at Offchurch is a licensed premises, Grade II Listed and falls within a Conservation Area, as does the adjoining land in question. The site is also in the Green Belt.”

A council report also suggested talk of parking issues in the area came from 'general and vague submissions rather than specific and detailed evidence.'

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The pub car park. (s)

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