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Bookcase maker fears business could fold after council wins enforcement appeal

PUBLISHED: 05:45 28 December 2018 | UPDATED: 16:20 28 December 2018

Richard Nugent, owner of bookcaseman.com, has been issued with an enforcement action from the council. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Richard Nugent, owner of bookcaseman.com, has been issued with an enforcement action from the council. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A bookcase maker fears his business could close after being ordered to clear out £5,000 of stock from his property.

Richard Nugent, owner of bookcaseman.com, has been issued with an enforcement action from the council. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodRichard Nugent, owner of bookcaseman.com, has been issued with an enforcement action from the council. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Richard Nugent was told by Broadland District Council to cease using his land on Yarmouth Road for the storage of goods connected to his business, Bookcaseman.co.uk.

It served an enforcement notice in October 2017 ordering him to also remove extensions to a shed, an additional dwelling he had created and a chimney flue on his workshop.

The 43-year-old appealed the notice, but a planning inspector has now ruled in favour of the council, stating the changes “harm” the living conditions of his neighbours.

Mr Nugent said: “I am totally devastated to be honest. Basically I won’t be able to run my workshop without the storage.

Richard Nugent, owner of bookcaseman.com, has been issued with an enforcement action from the council. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodRichard Nugent, owner of bookcaseman.com, has been issued with an enforcement action from the council. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

“If I can’t store goods in here, there is no point living on the site or carrying on running the business. I am thinking about closing it up.”

Mr Nugent said he has 
between £4,000 to £5,000 of mattresses, sofas and bookcases stored inside his wooden garage extension, which he will now have to remove.

Broadland said there had been a change of use of Mr Nugent’s land from residential to mixed. It says he did not have planning permission for that change.

A planning inspector said the father-of-one had already met some of the council’s requirements set out in an enforcement notice.

Richard Nugent, owner of bookcaseman.com, has been issued with an enforcement action from the council. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodRichard Nugent, owner of bookcaseman.com, has been issued with an enforcement action from the council. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

He ceased using an extension to his property as a separate flat, removed an extension to a shed and removed a chimney flue from his workshop.

Mr Nugent has been making bookcases from the site since 2006. He also buys and sells furniture online from the garage at the end of his garden.

Planning inspector Diane Fleming said Broadland’s dealings with the site date back to 2006 when the first complaint was made about the sale of furniture.

She said: “I consider that the retail and storage use adversely affects the safe and efficient operation of the highway network in the vicinity of the appeal site.

“The retail and storage use results in harm to the living conditions of neighbouring occupiers, having regard to privacy.”

Mr Nugent has six months to comply with the notice.

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