A WREXHAM pub owner has been expressing his confusion after the council asked him to take down a pergola from his premises.

Jeremy Hughes, owner of The White Lion pub on Castle Street in Holt, says he set up a pergola outside the front of the property as it would allow more customers on the site and give patrons more room to enjoy their drinks.

However, after a brief visit from council officials, he received a letter informing him that he must take down the pergola and would need to get planning permission for it to be reinstated.

Mr Hughes said he has since begun the application process but doesn’t understand why he needs to in the first place, as he believes the pergola helps his business and is causing no harm by being there.

Speaking to The Leader, the 55-year-old pub owner said: “We’ve always been a pub that has allowed outside drinking and it’s never been an issue.

“We decided that we would install a pergola outside the front of the pub because it would allow for us to accommodate more people at The White Lion during the summer months, and give more people the opportunity to enjoy a drink in the warm weather and sun.

“A few weeks ago, we were visited by two council workers who were stood on the outskirts of the pub, they didn’t say what they were doing there or what they were looking at, but we didn’t think anything was wrong at the time.

“We then received a letter a few days later saying that we had 28 days to take the pergola down because we didn’t have planning permission to have it up, but I don’t understand why I need planning permission for something like a pergola.

“All I’m trying to do is attract as many people to my business as possible, to give more people the chance to enjoy a drink outside so that they don’t all have to cram inside.

“If we do have to cram people inside, then there’s only so many people we can have in there and it stops me from getting as much business as I could.

“I’m just very confused and disappointed really, the community of Holt is a fantastic community where everyone supports each other, everyone supports each other’s businesses, but right now, Wrexham Council are not helping support my pub by taking away something that helps me drive more business.

“I have begun the application process to acquire planning permission so I can have it up permanently, but I just think the whole thing is unnecessary.

“What harm is it causing by being there? None. All it’s doing is helping me and the pub.”

A spokesman for Wrexham Council said: “The Council’s Planning Enforcement Officer was made aware that structures has been installed to the front of the White Lion public house.

“On investigation, it was found that the awnings had been positioned attached to permanent fixed frames. Such structures require planning permission, and the landowner was advised that their retention would require an application for planning permission - otherwise the structures should be removed.

“The Planning Department received a retrospective planning application on August 9, which is currently under consideration. The Council has no specific policies or guidance in relation to this type of development - it will be considered in line with the general development principles laid out in the Wrexham Unitary Development Plan, which will determine whether the structure is visually acceptable in the street scene, and if it will impact upon on the amenity of nearby occupiers of the site.

“The site is also located within the Holt Conservation Area, and as part of our consideration of the proposal, it must be determined whether the structure seeks to preserve or enhance the character of the conservation area.

“Officers will be making a recommendation in due course.”