Ian Stuart: No option but to move office

PUBLISHED: 15:41 10 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:46 10 June 2010

STUART Line Cruises say they been forced to move their office without planning permission. The owner, Ian Stuart, is currently awaiting a final council decision on his application to move his booking office, based in a portable building at Mamhead Slipway

STUART Line Cruises say they been forced to move their office without planning permission.The owner, Ian Stuart, is currently awaiting a final council decision on his application to move his booking office, based in a portable building at Mamhead Slipway, to Mamhead Gardens opposite.However, the building was moved last week to the gardens - ahead of permission.Mr Stuart said he had to move the portable building because the owners of his original site, FWS Carter and Sons, had started construction work on a cafe and shop complex before he had found another location.Alex Carter, director of FWS Carter and Sons, said: "We are building what we had planning permission for."Now the rest of the developments across the seafront have stopped, we can start with ours.""I don't know how long the work is going to take."If permission for the Stuart Line relocation is turned down at the next district development control meeting, it would mean the booking office would have to be dismantled and the company close for the winter, he said.The application for a new temporary site has attracted 12 letters of objections - comments include that the gardens should not be used commercially and that it would ruin a green where activities and sports take place.Mr Stuart has the full backing of Exmouth Town Council, which gave a recommendation for approval with some conditions, including the temporary move should be for only 18 months.Mr Stuart said he was hopeful of getting planning permission and, although he had been forced to move before permission was granted, district planners knew of his decision.A spokesman for East Devon District Council said: "Council officers have written to Stuart Line Cruises, advising them they are going through the necessary procedures to enable a temporary location to Mamhead Gardens, if and when planning permission is granted."As the planning authority, we would not take enforcement action against Stuart Line Cruises unless the planning application for a temporary booking office is turned down."The application could be discussed at the next district development control meeting on Tuesday, October 21.

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