Kirklees Council has taken decisive action to remove illegal and potentially unsafe structures from the highway
We have removed a set of ornamental lighting columns that had been placed outside the Plumber’s arms on McCauley Street Huddersfield without planning or highways authority consent
In July council officers began investigating other planning breaches on site, including the placement of benches in a public space. At this time the officers responsible for enforcement found that the pub landlord had removed council bollards without permission or consent and fixed decorative lampposts to the highway without the necessary permissions and that these were neither structurally nor electrically sound.
The council requested that the lampposts and seating were removed from the highway in July, and as this has not taken place the council has now removed them. Once on site, the contractors found the columns to be both structurally and electrically unsafe. They isolated the columns from the electric supply and taken down to a safe height.
The top part of the lampposts have been removed and placed them in storage. The council wants to reassure the public that they have followed the correct legal procedure for removing the illegally placed street furniture and will respond accordingly to any complaints from the business owner and consider any requests for payment. They will also be pursuing the costs of removing the decorative lampposts.
If the benches which have been the subject of a number of anti-social behaviour complaints, are not removed, then they will also be taken into storage by the council.
A Kirklees Council spokesperson said:
“The safety of the public is of paramount importance and we have carried out these actions to prevent any accidents or injury. We remain committed to working with businesses who are willing to follow the correct procedures before making changes. Planning and licensing legislation is in place to protect everyone. It provides a level playing field for landowners and businesses to make improvements and provides the opportunity for residents and officials to object to things that will negatively impact on the environment, public safety and quality of life. Anyone acting outside of these rules could be seen as showing a lack of respect for both public opinion and safety. We will consider any applications for retrospective planning permission through the usual process, however retrospective applications do not legitimise what has been done and it is right that these items should be removed for public safety. The council will always work to ensure that a fair balance is provided to support businesses and the economy but must balance this with protecting public safety.”