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Uttoxeter restaurant to fight homes scheme

By Uttoxeter Post and Times  |  Posted: August 01, 2014

Paul and Helen Wood, Stuart Roberts, George Parkes and Joe Dawson outside the venue.

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"WE will fight this every step of the way" said the owners of a Uttoxeter restaurant after it was revealed it is at risk of being razed to the ground – for a THIRD time.

Paul and Helen Wood have vowed to fight for the Parks Restaurant, in New Road, after the Northern Trust Company Limited appealed against East Staffordshire Borough Council's planning committee's decision to reject plans to rip down the pub and build 28 homes on the land.

The plans were dismissed back in February but since then the pub owners have had to also fight to change plans for the A50 growth corridor, which originally went through the building.

Mrs Wood said they were informed about the appeal, which will be decided by the Government planning inspector, after finding it on the council's website.

She said: "The planning application was for 28 houses but it was rejected as it is a restaurant and the other problem was with the access at the top of the drive.

"However, plans for the A50 sees the A522 come across the bottom of the car park meaning that the 28 houses won't fit here any more."

"It would need to be a completely different application. The first application was only outline but some of the houses were where the A522 will now run.

"It feels like we are quietly moving from one battle to another. We have told the staff what is going on but we just don't want them all getting other jobs as they are worried about the future.

"We have got weddings booked for next year and we don't want this to shake people's confidence in our business."

The couple has been running the pub since 2011 after it had been closed down and they transformed a once struggling pub into a thriving business and even continued to grow throughout the recession.

It has now become a popular eatery with Uttoxeter residents and those from further afield and has been taking bookings for next yTar already.

They are now determined to keep it open and not let this latest set back get in their way.

Mrs Wood told the Post and Times: "We are gutted this is happening again but we are determned to fight it. We are not going to sit back and let this happen to us.

"We will fight it every step of the way. It is not only our business but it is also our home.

"As far as we are concerned it is a secure business and we are not backing out of a fight. We don't want anyone to be affected by it.

"We would ask people to please lodge any concerns or comments with East Staffordshire Borough Council's planning department as that is the best way to do it.

"As far as we are concerned it is business as usual and we will keep delivering a business for the foreseeable future.

"Our plan is to continue here as long as we are able to."

The appeal was lodged earlier this week stating that the proposal is in accordance with the development plan and is a sustainable form of development 'to which the framework's presumption in favour of granting permission applies'.

The appeal states: "The proposal will deliver much needed housing within a five year period. The reasons put forward by the local planning authority for refusal of permission are not sustainable and were contrary to the officer recommendation for approval.

"The development can progress without impairing local highway safety and efficiency and planning permission should be granted for the proposal."

The Northern Trust Company Limited said it wishes for the appeal to be heard via a public inquiry.

Anyone who wants to view the application and lodge their concerns or comments is asked to visit East Staffordshire Borough Council's website and look for planning appeal P/2012/00932.

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