Hotel owner pleads guilty to marquee enforcement notice breach

A HOTEL owner has pleaded guilty to breaching an enforcement notice requiring him to remove a marquee from the listed building’s grounds.

Tony Roach, owner of the Banyers Hotel in Melbourn Street, Royston, was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay �500 costs.

A hearing at Stevenage Magistrates Court on Monday heard that Mr Roach had erected the marquee in March 2011, and continued to use it for some time afterwards.

The prosecution was brought by North Herts District Council.

Ian Fullstone, the district council’s head of development and building control, said: “We hope this case sends out a clear message that repeatedly flouting planning laws has serious consequences.

“The laws are there for a reason – to protect our environment for everyone to enjoy, and this is particularly important when it comes to listed buildings, which we have a duty to protect.”

The marquee had been causing controversy since Mr Roach took over at The Banyers in 2008, with residents in the area complaining about noise made from functions such as weddings.

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Mr Roach applied for temporary planning permission for the marquee in February, but was turned down by Royston Town Council.

Speaking at a meeting of the town council’s planning committee at the time, Mr Roach said having a marquee to cater for large functions such as weddings was vital to his business.

He said: “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.

“Since I have started I have not made money for four years and I have only just started making money.”