COUNCILLORS have refused permission for a temporary marquee at a top venue – and some fear it could put jobs in jeopardy.
Calderdale councillors on the planning committee were split over an application by Casa Hotel and Restaurant in Brighouse to retain a controversial marquee for six more months.
The owner’s agent, Roger Lee, said the marquee was vital to Casa's £2m ongoing extension plans.
Yet the application was rejected tonight despite a tie in the voting process.
Clrs Martin Burton, Chris Pillai and Steve Sweeney objected while Clrs David Hardy, Martin Peel and Stephen Baines supported the plans. The casting vote of the chair meant the application was rejected.
Elland’s Clr David Hardy was furious and said: "I’m not having 60 plus jobs put in jeopardy in my name."
The controversy has rumbled on since 2007 when the 300sqm marquee was erected without planning permission at the Elland Road venue, which hosts functions including weddings.
In July 2007 the marquee was refused planning permission and an Enforcement Notice was issued in 2008. An Enforcement Notice Appeal was dismissed by the Planning Inspector in 2009 and Casa's owner, Jim McDaid, had 12 months to comply.
Casa kept the marquee up and Calderdale Council failed to take any further action.
Last month councillors on the licensing panel granted a venue licence which covered the unlawful marquee.
It was said at the time that the extension, granted planning permission in 2009, will boost employment at the venue to around 100.
Mr Lee told last night’s meeting: "Work has already started on the extension. The constructors are on site and there is a very genuine and clear intention to construct the extension.
"The temporary marquee is generating income through functions and it’s critical to the business."
But councillors could not agree.
Clr Hardy said: "The bulk of this committee understands the circumstances. It’s a local business bucking the trend in a difficult economic climate and they’re asking for six months.
"Let them get the extension built. Let’s stop spending money chasing them and lets permit this."
Rastrick’s Clr Chris Pillai said: "We’ve heard the arrangements for the job creation but I’m still gravely concerned with the planning breaches that have gone on over the last years."