Pub owner’s fury at clean-up fine: Council responds

L12-353   19/3/12'Winston Churchill Pub, Church Street, Dunstable.'wk 12 AOD JX
L12-353 19/3/12'Winston Churchill Pub, Church Street, Dunstable.'wk 12 AOD JX

The owner of an ‘unsightly’ disused Dunstable pub who was fined for ignoring a court order requiring him to clean up his building has blasted the court’s decision as “ridiculous”.

Kacha Miah, of the Winston Churchill in Church Street, was issued with a Section 215 Notice under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 by Central Beds Council earlier this year.

The notice gives local authorities the power to force private land to be cleaned up when its condition “adversely affects the amenity of the area”.

The pub’s owners were charged with failing to comply with a notice to maintain property, to which they pleaded not guilty at Luton Magistrates Court on June 18.

They were found guilty and fined £400 in court last Wednesday and were also ordered to pay £478.50 in costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Mr Miah yesterday told the Gazette he was frustrated as he is currently awaiting planning permission from the council to re-open the pub.

He said: “I am waiting for them to approve my plans but at the same time they are taking me to court.

“They want me to change a window but the window isn’t part of my plans so the money will be wasted.

“I’m not happy with the decision – it’s ridiculous.

“They are not the right people working in the council.”

Central Beds Council told the Gazette this was not the case, and Mr Miah has no outstanding planning applications pending.

The said he had a ‘change of use’ application expire in August, and an application to build a conservatory turned down in September.

Central Beds councillor Nigel Young added: “Clearly the exterior is still in a shocking condition.

“If they now fail to carry out the required works we will all return to court.”