A BUSINESS owner has been left fuming after 'jealous' neighbours forced him to tear down his £60,000 extension.
Ben Shorrock, who runs The Eating Inn in Blackpool, Lancashire, said that he was "surprised and extremely frustrated by the decision of the local council.
Ben, 38, took over running the seaside restaurant, which was set up by his father in 1980, over a decade ago.
Over the years, he has spent thousands on improvements, including a whopping sum in the extension.
However, he told Lancashire Live that the "jealousy" of his neighbours led to complaints about the structure.
It has now been refused retrospective planning permission, despite his claim that he deliberately kept the building shorter so as to "not block natural light".
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Ben said: "We are going to appeal the decision, go down the legal route.
"We did most of the renovations in lockdown, I did my due diligence and the company that built it told us we wouldn't need planning permission because it was free-standing.
"It is the first thing I checked. Our neighbour complains about everything but it is just such a shame as we are trying to be part of the regeneration of Blackpool and we are one of a few places on the front that is investing lot of money in it."
He added that the decision means he will effectively "lose half the restaurant".
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The extension, for which the glass alone cost £30,000, can stay up for at least the six months Ben has to appeal, but he is determined to see it stand.
He fumed: "I love Blackpool and I think it is really going places so I think it is crazy to deny an outdoor seating area [like that] when you look at the other rubbish on the promenade.
"We have had loads of support with people unable to believe the decision and hopefully it will get overturned on appeal."
In assessing his case, council planners concluded that the glass extension represented a piecemeal development and would set a precedent for other local buildings to expand in the same way.
In their report, they said: "This significant projection would not only make the property appear out of place among the neighbouring properties in the terrace but also has a detrimental impact on strategic views along the Promenade and seafront."
It comes after one couple were ordered to tear down their £80,000 extension and pay £200,000 in fees after building it two inches too close to their neighbours' house.
Meanwhile, two homeowners were left furious after being forced to remove what they called the best part of their property – it's unique wooden cladding.
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