Entrepreneur ordered to close man-made beach

July 20, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

An entrepreneur today vowed to fight kill-joy council chiefs who threatened to close – his man-made BEACH.

Stephen Hammon, 45, built the £1.4m attraction for land-locked residents last July but was fined £4,000 after it emerged that he did not have planning permission.

North Warwickshire Borough Council have now ordered the lake and beach in Fillongley, Warks., to be bulldozed before August 6.

Furious Mr Hammon said: ”We employ around 60 staff but if the council gets its way then I’ll be forced to lay off the majority of those.

”There all local people who worked brilliantly. At a time when jobs are in such short supply it seems ridiculous.

”The beach provides so much happiness. It’s not doing any harm so why close it?”

Stephen built the five-acre lake surrounded by 1,500 tonnes of sand as part of a conference centre.

Attractions also include a quad biking track and a paintball course in nearby woodland.

Fans of the beach have launched a Facebook group to persuade the council to keep it open.

The council claims that the beach and its thousands of visitors are damaging the environment.

Mr Hammon added: ”I’m really proud of the fact that this is England’s most central beach.

”It’s proved to be really popular with schools and families wanting a fun day out.

”There have been a few planning issues with the council over the last ten years but I would like to meet them face-to-face to sort them out.”

Mr Hammon has appealed the council’s decision to close the beach and a public enquiry will be held in September.

A councils spokesman said: ”The simple fact is that this beach does not have planning permission.

”Not only is there a considerable amount of other development on the site that doesn’t have permission, the company is not operating in accordance with its existing plans.

”We’ve had meetings with the company to try to resolve this matter but our advice has been ignored.”

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