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'Sort your parking issues or we will', coastal pub operator warned

The operators of a popular coastal pub have been warned to sort out its parking problem – or risk having it resolved for them.

The warning was delivered as parish councillors opposed retrospective proposals for the use of temporary buildings at the White Horse in Brancaster Staithe.

Like many businesses, the pub has used a marquee to provide additional seating capacity for diners during the Covid crisis.

The White Horse in Brancaster Staithe.
The White Horse in Brancaster Staithe.

The pub’s owners, Anglian Country Inns (ACI), are now seeking permission for seasonal use of a marquee there, between March and October.

Documents submitted as part of their planning application to West Norfolk Council say there are currently 46 available parking spaces with the marquee in its present form and position.

That number would increase to 54 if a smaller tent was used in its proposed alternative location.

But, during a meeting on Tuesday, Brancaster parish councillors were told that the pub and marquee could seat up to 180 diners at a time.

The council’s chairman, Briony Bax, insisted the authority wanted to encourage the growth of businesses, but said she was worried about the level of parking provision.

Fellow councillor Tom de Winton added: “This is a good time for you to get your car parking sorted out because, if you don’t, we may sort it out for you and that may not be to your liking.”

But ACI chairman Cliff Nye said they were already encouraging car sharing among staff, whose vehicles are parked away from the site.

He also took issue with some of the objections which have been published on the borough council’s planning website, telling the meeting: “Apart from making me feel like public enemy number one, they haven’t understood what I’m doing.”

Concerns were also raised about the tent potentially being “an eyesore”, to which Mr Nye highlighted other perceived eyesores in the area.

But Bob Lawton said: “It’s no more an eyesore than some of the houses that have gone up.”

Councillors voted by seven to one, with one abstention to object to the application.

Later, in a separate debate, they voted unanimously to object to proposals at the Ship Hotel on Main Road, Brancaster, which would allow for the construction of an extension with six extra hotel rooms, plus four lodges.

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