Stevenage Borough Council planning process criticised over restaurant plan

An application has been submitted to turn this listed building into a restaurant

An application has been submitted to turn this listed building into a restaurant - Credit: Archant

A man has criticised Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) for its conduct in processing plans to turn a listed building into a restaurant.

An application submitted to SBC last week proposes turning a Grade II-listed house, 11 High Street, into a bistro restaraunt. The plans call for the demolition of two load-bearing walls as part of its design.

Richard Everett, 55, claims SBC must consult with English Heritage while considering these plans in accordance with the Planning Act 1990. However he received an email last week from the plan’s case officer, James Chettleburgh, stating they would not be consulting English Heritage as the planned works are “relatively minor”.

Under the Planning Act, applications involving the demolition of “any staircase, load-bearing wall, floor structure or roof structure” are considered “substantial” and should be reported to English Heritage before seeking approval from the secretary of state.

Mr Everett, who is also a former SBC councillor, said: “It is clear to me that English Heritage should be involved and I intend to make sure that they are.

“It is not acceptable for councils to simply pick and choose which laws they follow and which ones they do not. It has been known for the secretary of state to overturn applications that have been passed prematurely by local authorities.

“This would lead to SBC having to foot the compensation bills. This could result in thousands of local rate payers’ pounds being wasted – something I would like to avoid.”

Most Read

A spokesman for SBC said: “We have received the complaint and it is being processed.”