When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
The Testwood pub in Totton is ordered to axe new facilities
PUB bosses are battling to save a six-figure improvement scheme that has transformed a Hampshire watering hole.
Managers at Greene King are fighting an enforcement notice instructing them to demolish new facilities at The Testwood pub in Salisbury Road, Totton.
Major alterations were made without planning permission, including the provision of a timber-framed shelter housing an outdoor dining area.
Members of New Forest District Council rejected a retrospective application after people living near the pub complained about noise, extra traffic and light pollution.
Speaking at the time, Councillor Pat Wyeth said: “I’m absolutely horrified to see that The Testwood has done all this without permission.
“Pub chains can’t just walk roughshod over people who live near their premises.”
Councillor George Dart added: “The applicant has treated this authority – and the local residents – with complete contempt.”
Planning officers recommended that the committee approve the work, claiming the council could resolve any problems caused by The Testwood. But councillors ignored their advice and rejected the application.
Greene King, which owns the pub, was subsequently served with an enforcement notice instructing it to remove all the unauthorised new facilities.
The notice said people living nearby would be forced to endure unacceptable levels of noise unless the alterations were reversed.
Now Greene King has lodged an appeal, saying the new-look pub is not causing harm.
It also claims that the enforcement notice is invalid because it was not signed by the council’s head of legal services, Grainne O’Rourke.
A Greene King spokesman said: “An appeal has been lodged because we believe our customers have greatly benefited from the improvements to this popular pub.”