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Holiday business in row with Broads Authority over office unit

PUBLISHED: 17:06 05 October 2017

John Buchanan and his son Johnny of JB Boats in Horning in front of their office. Picture: ANDREW STONE

John Buchanan and his son Johnny of JB Boats in Horning in front of their office. Picture: ANDREW STONE

Archant

The owners of a Broads holiday business feel they are being victimised by the Broads Authority in an ongoing row over an office building.

JB Boats office in Horning. Picture: Andrew Stone JB Boats office in Horning. Picture: Andrew Stone

John Buchanan and his son Johnny of JB Boats in Horning said they had been involved in a planning battle with the Broads Authority for six years.

However, the Broads Authority denied the accusation and said its planning department officers had “worked with” Mr Buchanan in an effort to best serve his business needs “within planning regulations”.

Mr Buchanan said the problems started when they applied for planning permission to erect a new office building that would resemble the old one.

“We were basically told we couldn’t do what we wanted and instead had to do what the planning officer wanted.”

John Buchanan of JB Boats in Horning says he has been involved in a planning row with the Broads Authority over his office unit. Picture: ANDREW STONE John Buchanan of JB Boats in Horning says he has been involved in a planning row with the Broads Authority over his office unit. Picture: ANDREW STONE

He said plans for the new office were then drawn up and passed.

“The unit was prefabricated and came with plastic window frames. I was told I needed to put wooden ones in and they ended up serving an enforcement notice and took us to court.”

He eventually agreed to replace the frames, which he said cost £5,000.

“We did that and all the staging around here which they wanted and I thought everything was settled. They then said to me that if I wanted to put the plastic windows back within a year I could.”

Mr Buchanan said he had to submit further applications to extend the eaves and overhangs, costing him time, money “and a lot of stress”.

“To date this has probably cost us an extra £50,000 trying to sort it out on top of what we had originally budgeted for the new building. They are not helping small businesses.”

A spokesman for the Broads Authority said: “Instead of constructing a new building, as per his original planning permission, Mr Buchanan erected a portable cabin which is not a suitable structure on the edge of a conservation area.

“Despite on-going enforcement action we have worked with him in order to make adjustments to suit his needs.

“This eventually resulted in him gaining new planning permission last year which enables him to keep the cabin with some adaptations.

“This would not have been possible without on-going dialogue and a willingness to support his business.”

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