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Pub owner wins battle with Wrexham Council over outdoor area for customers

A pub owner has won a battle with Wrexham Council over plans to put two sun shades outside his premises to allow customers to drink outdoors.

Jeremy Hughes, who runs The White Lion in Holt, originally set up the pergolas at the front of the property in August.

However, he later received a visit from council officials who said he did not have permission and asked him to take them down.

A retrospective bid to gain approval had been earmarked for refusal by planning officers, but councillors voted against their recommendation at a meeting on Monday to decide on the proposals.


It came after they were told of the large amount of public support for the scheme with 43 letters written to the local authority in favour.

Speaking at Wrexham’s Guildhall, Mr Hughes said: “My family and I have lived and worked in Holt for over 27 years.

“The White Lion isn’t just a pub to us – it’s our family home and we love the place. When we bought the White Lion, it needed a huge amount of work doing and even the roof was unsafe.

“We’ve had to restore the whole building from top to bottom and inside and out.

“The sun shades were to be the final piece of the jigsaw and they are the bit that could make it a viable and sustainable business.”

Wrexham’s chief planning officer had recommended for the plans to be rejected as he claimed it would obscure views of the front of the building on Castle Street, which is located inside a conservation area.

Lawrence Isted said the pub could still put unfixed benches and umbrellas in place without the need for a planning application.

But councillors said the appearance of the area would be improved more by the sun shades.

Cllr Paul Pemberton said: “We’ve got to support these businesses as much as we possibly can, and this structure is much better than umbrellas.

“You never know, if we did refuse it, they might put an umbrella up with: “We hate Wrexham County Borough Council” on it and rightly so if we did.”

Posting on Facebook after the meeting, staff at the pub thanked the committee and local residents for their support.

They said: “Jeremy and all the staff at The White Lion would like to thank the planning committee, customers and you the local residents for your support regarding the canopies.

“We are pleased to inform you that the council today have agreed that they can remain, bringing a positive look to the village.

“We are extremely pleased and grateful at this outcome.”

*Picture: Planning Document

By Liam Randall – BBC Local Democracy Reporter (more here on the LDR scheme).



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