A TV bailiff has found himself embroiled in a planning row after taking over a run down boozer.
Paul Bohill, known for his role in Channel 5's 'Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away', bought The Plough Inn, a village pub near Withernsea in East Yorkshire. He and his business partner, Andrew Ward are set to make big changes to the pub, which was only opening once or twice a week due to illness in the previous owner's family.
Paul said: "I became involved in the pub because my business partner Andy has a campsite in Hollym and was hoping to open a restaurant on site. "When we first looked at it, there was plaster falling off the walls, it was dirty and the toilets were horrendous. It had fallen into a state of disrepair, so we needed to completely refurbish the place."
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In just a week, village volunteers were busy sprucing up the place. They encouraged the owners to open as soon as possible, so one side of the bar is now open while the other is still getting a makeover, Hull Live reports.
Paul's main focus was to improve access for disabled people. He said: "Through having a disabled friend, I know how important it is to make public spaces welcome to everyone and always ask, 'how would this work for a disabled person?'
"So while we were waiting for planning permission to build an extension for our original toilets, we needed to build a temporary emergency toilet block with disabled access. It is important to us that we can give people this facility as quickly as possible so we were advised we could get retrospective planning permission.
"We had our own machines and materials ready and waiting and have built the footings for it. But this has not gone down well with a complainant.
"We also found a covered doorway, which had been bricked up but was on the original plans, so we opened it up again because it was wide enough to fit a wheelchair through. Unfortunately, there were objections to this too."
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The pub's changes have led to a complaint, prompting the planning authority to investigate. The pub has been visited several times by officials who have asked about everything from toilet plans to the jukebox.
Paul says they've also had complaints about people smoking outside, leading to visits from the police and health and safety officers. He said: "We are not trying to bend rules and we understand why certain procedures are in place but we have been visited by almost every public body now."
He added: "Pubs are closing all over the country and we actually want to spend time and money to make this place a success and a community hub. Lesser people may have given up and shut the place down by now, after all of these visits.
"We eventually want to have a commercial kitchen and serve food, we are registering The Plough Inn as a warm space providing free tea and coffee and we want the local rugby team to come in here after their games. It is getting worrying that somebody wants to see us fail."
While East Riding of Yorkshire Council can't comment on an ongoing case, it confirmed a complaint has been made. Stephen Hunt, director of Director of Planning and Development Management at the council, said: "We have received a complaint about a potential breach of planning control and are currently investigating."
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