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Owners The Six Bells in Gislingham issued with enforcement notice after allegedly breaching planning regulations

The owners of a former village pub have been issued with an enforcement notice after allegedly breaching planning regulations.

The notice was issued by Mid Suffolk District Council against the occupiers and owner of The Six Bells in High Street, Gislingham, on May 3.

It is alleged they are using the property as a house without planning permission.

Six Bells, High Street, Gislingham 2
Six Bells, High Street, Gislingham 2

The Six Bells was listed as an asset of community value in April 2022 by the district council.

This means the authority has extra powers to protect its status as a pub and additional reasons to reject any proposal involving its loss.

Gislingham Parish Council nominated the pub for community status in February 2022. It followed an application by the current owners for a change of use from a pub to a veterinary practice and pet supply business, with living accommodation upstairs.

This was rejected by the district council in March 2022 following objections.

The current enforcement notice states the alleged breach of planning control as: “Without planning permission, the change of use of public house building with ancillary residential accommodation to use as a dwelling-house.

“It appears to the council that the above breach of planning control has occurred within the last four years.

“The building has not been open as a public house since the current owners acquired it and started to occupy it as their home in October 2021.

“The council considers on the balance of probability that there has been a material change of use as alleged.

“The change of use to a dwelling house does not benefit from planning permission, and results in unacceptable harm to the community of Gislingham due to the unjustifiable loss of a community facility.”

It states that the pub’s owners have been asked to “cease the use of the building, or any part of the building, as a dwelling-house, except for residential occupation ancillary to the
primary use of the building as an active public house”.

“The requirements must be completed within 12 months from the date of this notice unless an appeal is made beforehand,” it states.

A council spokesman said: “We are committed to protecting community facilities within our district and any loss must be justified.

“This means going through the correct process in order to provide robust evidence that facilities are either no longer required or not viable.”

The Diss Express has attempted to contact the owners.

It is understood an appeal has been lodged with the planning inspectorate.

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