Ely businessman takes his planning case to appeal

The wall which the applicant wants to knock through

The wall which the applicant wants to knock through - Credit: Archant

AN Ely businessman, whose plans to knock through a wall to allow cars access to his property were refused by district council officials, has appealed to the Planning Inspectorate.

Sisin Paragon, owner of Thai restaurant BKK, in St Mary’s Street, applied to East Cambridgeshire District Council back in August for permission to put a gate in a crumbling wall at the rear of his business, which is Grade II listed.

Mr Paragon told planners: “(The wall) is much amended and poorly maintained. It presents a patched face to the carpark and some of the coping bricks are missing.”

He said that, by adding a gate in the middle of the wall, he could create access for restaurant staff and could also improve the wall by repointing the brickwork and adding new supporting structures.

No concerns about the plan were expressed by the City of Ely Council but the council’s conservation officer Ann Caffall was less than impressed, saying that the plans would “completely alter the character” of the area.

She said: “The removal of this section of the wall and the introduction of large wooden gates would completely alter the character and appearance of this area.

“Historically, this area of land has never been accessible from the rear and I do not believe it would enhance the character or appearance of the conservation area or the setting of the neighbouring listed buildings.”

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In light of the report, the plans were refused by the district council but, unhappy with the decision, Mr Paragon has appealed to the Planning Inspectorate, in the hope that the ruling will be overturned.

The inspector will visit the site in the coming months before a final ruling is made in the autumn.