CELEB chef Mark Hix is locked in a bitter row over a wooden deck after the council demanded he tear it down.
The MBE and owner of a luxury seafood restaurant in Dorset built the outdoor space over the pandemic.Celeb chef Mark Hix is locked in a bitter row over a wooden deck at his restaurant in Lyme Regis after the council demanded he tear it down[/caption]
The three-level extension was automatically approved as the government relaxed regulations to help the hospitality trade serve food outside.
The decking Hix’s Oyster and Fish House in Lyme Regis boasts extraordinary views over the Jurassic Coast town.
But when the Great British Menu star applied to retain the structure permanently but town hall bureaucrats rejected the proposals.
The deck was built on a piece of land in Lister Gardens, owned by the town council, which Mr Hix said had “never been used” before he developed it.
But the council the 40ft by 26ft space was an “ingress” into a public amenity and had a “detrimental effect on the gardens”.
The 59-year-old restaurateur, who opened the eatery in 2020, said his income would be slashed by around 30 per cent forced to tear the £20,000 extension down.
Mr Hix – who also stars on Saturday Kitchen – has now vowed to burn the remains of the decking outside “anti-business” Lyme Regis Town Council’s hall.
And he says he has the support of “90 percent” of people in the posh harbour town but “three councillors” are behind the objection.
Mr Hix is also threatening to withdraw his charitable support for the seaside town – which he provides through annual food festivals and fundraising events.
He says his work has raised “hundreds of thousands of pounds” for the local RNLI and turbocharged tourism in the area.
And he warned the actions of the council could see all restaurants “shutting down the streets” in protest.
Mr Hix slammed: “I might even take the wood from the terrace and set fire to it outside the town hall.
“There are no bylaws saying you can’t build on that land and it was completely useless.
“We have got the best reputation of any restaurant in the town and the small-minded council should be on our side.”
The Lyme Regis Society, which safeguards the architectural and natural beauty of the town, also objected.
They said making the decking permanent would “set a dangerous precedent” in leasing or selling off parts of council-owned gardens.
Dorset Council will make a final decision on Mr Hix’s planning application in the near future.
Mark Green, the deputy clerk at Lyme Regis Town Council, said the council had supported Mr Hix through the pandemic.
He said: “Initially, that permission was granted for one year. This was subsequently extended for a second year.
“More recently, the council has agreed to extend that temporary permission for a further six months until March 31, 2023.
“That application has now been withdrawn by the applicant pending further discussions.”The deck was built on a piece of land in Lister Gardens, owned by the town council, which Mr Hix said had ‘never been used’ before he developed it[/caption] Mr Hix has vowed to burn the remains of the decking outside ‘anti-business’ Lyme Regis Town Council’s hall[/caption]