South Shields pub boss ordered to remove strawberry planters from The Look Out car park after beer garden plan rejected
A South Shields pub boss has launched a petition to keep his garden planters after the council ordered him to remove them.
Michael Ward, who owns The Look Out, in Fort Street, on the Lawe Top, has been asked by South Tyneside Council to remove the strawberry planters from the car park beside his pub.
It comes after his planning application to turn the land into a beer garden was rejected by council planning officers who said that concerns had been raised by residents about noise and general disturbance.
Following the rejection, Michael installed large planters in an effort to make the empty space more attractive and to offer children the chance to pick the strawberries as they go past.
But the pub boss has since been asked by the council to remove the planters as they formed part of the rejected plans for the beer garden.
"The car park is going empty and the planters look really nice there,” Michael said.
"I only put them up on Monday last week and the following day I had an email from the council saying I have to remove them. It’s crazy.”
He has now launched a petition at the pub itself calling on the council to let him keep the planters.
“The petition has around 300 signatures... I am over the moon with the response,” he said.
South Tyneside Council says they have had to make some ‘difficult decisions’ but said it will work with the pub to find a resolution.
A council spokeswoman said: “We know how much businesses have struggled during the pandemic and we are committed to supporting them through the roadmap out of lockdown.
“We have issued more than 30 temporary pavement licences to support businesses to provide outside service.
“However, we’ve also had to make some difficult decisions in balancing the needs of both businesses and local residents.
“Unfortunately, on this occasion, planning permission was refused for a beer garden on land adjacent to the pub due to the detrimental impact it would have on residents living close by.
“We have since asked the pub to remove the unauthorised external seating and structures associated with the planning application.
“The issue is not specifically about planters but the application as a whole. However, we will continue to work with the business to find a resolution.”