The A27 service station between Polegate and Lewes has been ordered to take down the ‘over-elaborate’ canopy

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In a decision published earlier this month, a town planning inspector dismissed an appeal related to a garage known as Selmeston Service Station on the A27.

The company had received an enforcement notice from Wealden District Council requiring it to remove a canopy from its forecourt, which had been built without planning permission.

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The company appealed the notice, arguing that the structure was acceptable, the notice was too short, and demanded unreasonable corrective action.

Service Station. Image via Google Maps.” height=”570″ width=”853″ srcset=”https://www.sussexexpress.co.uk/webimg/T0FLMTM4MTIyOTE5.jpg?&width=320 320w, https://www.sussexexpress.co.uk/webimg/T0FLMTM4MTIyOTE5.jpg?&width=640 640w” layout=”intrinsic” class=”i-amphtml-layout-intrinsic i-amphtml-layout-size-defined” i-amphtml-layout=”intrinsic”>
Selmeston Service Station. Picture via Google Maps.

Part of this argument was that the canopy was a safety feature, illuminating the fuel pumps and providing shelter from the weather.

However, the inspector described the structure as “artificial and overly elaborate” for this functional purpose, concluding that it detracts from the character and appearance of the conservation area.

Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.

They noted, however, that a similar, more functional structure might be suitable for planning permission.

The inspector also disagreed with the argument that the notice was unreasonable, as all it required was that the structure be demolished and removed from the site.

Despite this, the inspector noted that removing the canopy would likely be a complex process and therefore the remaining two months on the notice might not allow enough time to comply.

As a result, the inspector amended the notice to give the company four months to demolish the structure.

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