Pub landlady left fuming in smoking shelter row

PUBLISHED: 16:40 31 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:03 06 May 2010

The Old Cock Inn in Harpenden High Street

The Old Cock Inn in Harpenden High Street

A PUB landlady is fighting a bid by planners to get her to remove a smoking shelter. Nicola Hackett, of The Old Cock Inn in Harpenden, originally had the shelter built at the back of her premises without planning permission saying she did not realise it w

Nicola Hackett

A PUB landlady is fighting a bid by planners to get her to remove a smoking shelter.

Nicola Hackett, of The Old Cock Inn in Harpenden, originally had the shelter built at the back of her premises without planning permission saying she did not realise it was necessary.

But when she was told she was in breach of planning laws in January this year, she applied for retrospective planning permission which was refused on the grounds that the shelter appeared to be attached to the pub, a locally-listed building in the Conservation Area. It was also stated that its design and materials were out of keeping with its surroundings.

Mrs Hackett said she was also told that it was taking up valuable car-parking space and was too big.

She appealed against the refusal and is now awaiting the decision of a planning inspector.

She said: "We are legally bound to supply a no-smoking area for our customers so we had to build the shelter.

The area used to build it was a piece of muddy waste ground. I am not aware that a smoking shelter has to be a certain size."

She denied that the structure was fixed to the building and said it was freestanding.

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