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Pub boss 'can't understand' order to take down lights
A BREWERY boss says he doesn’t understand why his Marlow pub has been told it can't keep its car park lighting, which he says is only there to keep people safe.
Peter Furness-Smith, managing director of McMullen and Sons, which runs Marlow’s Brittania, said the pub should be thanked for pumping money into the building and not penalised.
It comes after Wycombe District Council rejected its application to keep two five-metre LED floodlights in the car park, which were initially put up without permission.
And while the pub company claims the lights are to keep customers safe, planners agreed with neighbours who complained the lights were too bright.
Mr Furness-Smith said: “It seems quite bizarre that they allow you to have a big pub and car park which attracts a wide range and age of customers then make it difficult to have proper lighting.
“Particularly our older guests struggle need a safe environment to park and make their way into the pub and I do not understand it.
“We have taken a really grotty pub and spent lots of money making it into a really welcoming place appreciated by the local community judging by the number of customers we have.
“The neighbours must be delighted compared to what was there before so I don’t understand it at all.”
The Britannia reopened in November 2012 following a £650,000 refit. McMullen also operates Baroosh on the High Street.
The lights were installed over a year ago after complaints about the lack of light in the car park, but McMullen were forced to request retrospective permission to keep them up.
Last week, WDC ruled the lights have an “unacceptable overbearing and visually intrusive impact” on neighbouring residents along Bobmore Lane.
Neighbour Gillian Southon complained to the council that the five-metre high white LED lights shine into her main bedroom and make it difficult to sleep.
She said: “Whilst I realise there is a need for car park safety, I feel that local residents needs would be better served by the floodlights being replaced with lights of a more considerate design, height and light intensity.
“I would strongly urge that local residents be consulted regarding the final design and exact location, since a small change could have a real impact on my day to day life and that of my neighbours.”
Mr Furness-Smith said he the company intends to appeal against the decision.