Plumbers Arms boss told to remove pub benches just as he gets ready to reopen

The owner of a pub in downtown Huddersfield was told to move his benches again.

Mark Robertson of Plumbers Arms on Macaulay Street was embroiled in a sharp saga with Kirklees Council last summer when he set up some wooden benches in vacant lot several yards from the pub entrance.

Our story went around the world and even landed in an Australian newspaper as a bizarre example of the sometimes strained relationships between British pub landlords and councilors.

He was eventually given permission to take her to an area closer to his pub, but the problem never went away.

Yesterday (Wed) he received a letter from Sam Connelly, the team manager of the council’s Greenspace Action, telling him he had 21 days to remove the benches, tables and planters.

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Mr Connelly wrote, “As you know, the City Council would like to do work on Macaulay Street to support the Huddersfield Blueprint, the 10 year vision for the city center.

“This work should start at the end of March.

“Your temporary extension to your pavement cafe license expired at the end of December, but the wooden benches, tables and planters were not removed as agreed.

“The council requires that you remove the wooden benches, tables, and planters as soon as possible.

“Please note that these may not be relocated to communal properties and that you must provide your own personal storage for these items.”

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Mr. Robertson said, “This is much more than asking me to move my benches.

“Kirklees plans to reopen the freeway in front of the pub, which has not been used for this purpose since the 1980s.

“It all has to do with their work on the renewal of Dundas Street, which runs by the side of Sainsbury’s, and I think the Council should clarify what it is up to instead of trying to sneak it out without public consultation.

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“Many city center pubs are unlikely to reopen on April 12th as they don’t have beer gardens. I suspect we could be very busy, especially when we have nice, sunny weather like we did last year to have .

“I don’t think Kirklees would be very happy about people just getting up and drinking outside the pub, although that could happen if this issue is not resolved, although I enjoy working with them.”

The Kirklees Council was asked for an opinion.

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