By Ewan Foskett
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
THE owner of a Royston hotel this week told councillors he would board up his business at the end of the month after a planning dispute reached boiling point.
Tony Roach, proprietor of The Banyers, on Melbourn Street, gave the members of Royston Town Council’s planning meeting a parting shot after they turned down his application for temporary permission for a marquee to the rear of the hotel.
“I’m going to be closing the hotel at the end of the month and it will be boarded up,” he said as he left the room.
The outburst came after members recommended the district should turn down his application for the tent to host weddings, charity fundraisers and other events.
A similar application was turned down a number of months ago by the town council and North Herts District Council is in the process of preparing a prosecution after Mr Roach did not take down the marquee when requested.
Speaking before the application was discussed, the 46-year-old hotelier told councillors he had bought the business and renovated it, as he had lived in Royston since he was seven and had fond memories of the venue.
But he said he wished he had “let it fall down, as all I have had is complaints and problems”.
“Here’s a letter from my accountants, if it’s going to be that we are not going to have a marquee and no weddings in the town, I would have no alternative but to board it up and close it down,” he added.
“Since I have started I have not made money for four years and I have only just started making money.”
Before the decision was made, a resident told councillors how the sound of live music from the venue was spilling over into their gardens and disrupting their lives.
Mr Roach disputes the point as he says he does not have live music in the tent.
But when the application was discussed Cllr John Davison said: “I have never heard of a wedding that doesn’t have music.
“I believe that the location is such that having a marquee up seems that it is going to cause considerable nuisance for residents a considerable distance away from the hotel.
“On that basis I think we should refuse the application.”
Planning permission was unanimously renewed for a conservatory at the hotel to accommodate an extension to the restaurant, which was originally given assent in 2008, but has not yet been built because of the economic downturn.