A LOCAL businessman has been given a month to remove awnings and wall heaters which he installed on the outside of his new seaside restaurant in North Berwick without planning permission.
Stirling Stewart fell foul of East Lothian Council’s planning committee on Tuesday after unauthorised work was carried out at the former coastguard station, now known as ‘The Rocketeer’ – the name once used for coastguards.
Protester Douglas Stephenson, representing the local harbour residents’ association, claimed the blue-and-white striped awnings made the historic building in Victoria Road look like something from “Legoland.”
Thirteen objections were received about retrospective planning application for the unauthorised work, the committee was informed.
Mr Stewart of Harbour House Hotel Ltd, who has other hospitality interests in North Berwick – including the Nether Abbey Hotel and Lobster Shack at the harbour – got the go-ahead back in January, despite 83 objections, to transform the coastguard station into a restaurant and takeaway.
Brian Stalker, development control manager, explained: “It was established through the investigation of public complaints that a number of alterations were being made to the building not approved by that grant of planning permission in January.”
However, he stressed: “All but the wall mounted heaters and the awnings that have been attached to the outside of the former coastguard station, now known as The Rocketeer, are acceptable.”
Mr Stewart stressed that North Berwick Community Council, Historic Scotland and the North Berwick Harbour Trust had no objection to any part of the application.
He said: “Without some form of heating and protection from the rain, of which there has been no shortage of this year, this business is not financially viable.”
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