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Waveney landlord left counting the costs

PUBLISHED: 10:05 06 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:29 06 July 2010

A LANDLORD who carried out building work at his historic north Suffolk pub without permission has been left counting the cost after a judge ordered him to pay a fine and costs totalling more than £8,000.

A LANDLORD who carried out building work at his historic north Suffolk pub without permission has been left counting the cost after a judge ordered him to pay a fine and costs totalling more than £8,000.

Ipswich Crown Court heard yesterday (Monday) that Terry Blakesley was responsible for removing historic masonry at the Grade II listed Three Tuns hotel and pub in Earsham Street, Bungay, in November last year.

Nargis Sultan, prosecuting, said that Waveney District Council had received a complaint about unauthorised work being carried out at the pub and during a visit to the premises a council officer noticed that historic masonry had been removed from the cellar.

Blakesley, 61, was advised to apply for listed building consent and although some paperwork was submitted, no valid application was received and a decision was taken to prosecute him.

The Three Tuns is Bungay's oldest hotel dating back to at least 1540 and includes a large main bar and a downstairs cellar incorporating walls which are thought to be part of the original walls of Bungay Castle

Jade Durr, for Blakesley, said that when his client purchased the pub in November last year for £200,000, he had not been made aware that it was a listed building.

He had embarked on a programme of renovation and redecoration and builders employed by him had removed masonry to allow supports to be put in after cracks were noticed above the cellar.

He said Blakesley, who has now sold the pub, had acted in ignorance of the building being listed and had been making a genuine attempt to renovate the property but accepted he could have made appropriate inquiries before starting the work and could have been more co-operative with council officials.

Blakesley, who was described as Judge Peter Fenn as someone who had “bungled” his way through an area in which he was out of his depth, was fined £7,000 and ordered to pay £1,391 in prosecution costs.

Speaking after the hearing, Ken Sale, Waveney District Council's portfolio holder for the environment, said: “Planning regulations are in place to protect our heritage, because once historic fabric is removed, it is gone forever. These rules exist to safeguard important buildings for future generations and they cannot simply be ignored.

“I would like to thank those officers involved for their hard work and hope this sends out a strong warning to those considering building work without seeking guidance and or permission.”

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