Social media sites in the Skegness area were a hotbed of controversy this week after hundreds of people signed an online petition accusing the district council of a Scrooge-like attitude to a pub’s lighting.
Rumours have been circulating that the Marine Boathouse in Skegness has been ordered to take down its festive lighting for breaching planning rules.
This has sparked angry reaction from many on Facebook, Twitter and other pages, who have accused the council of jealousy over the ‘spectacular nature’ of the lights (see picture), which some commentators have claimed out-do the town’s official displays.
However, an image of a letter circulating the internet claiming to be the enforcement notice makes no mention of the Christmas lights. and instead appears to focus on the building’s flagpoles and the string lights the pub formerly hung over its beer garden.
These were taken down to allow for the festive lights to be erected and are no longer attached to the building.
The authenticity of the letter image circulating the net has not been confirmed, and the Marine Boathouse did not wish to comment when contacted by the Standard.
However, the district council appears to have indirectly confirmed the veracity of the letter when it replied to requests for comment.
Responding to the online accusations, it also praised the festive displays at the pub, and said that because the earlier lights had been removed to make way for the Christmas tree, there was no longer a planning case to answer.
They also added that they would be waiving an order for the flagpoles to be removed.
The spokesperson said: “The Christmas decorations at the Marine Boathouse look superb again this year and we thank Mr Gillison [at the Marine Boathouse] and his team for the great efforts they go to each year in ensuring this part of the town is vibrant and welcoming for both local people and visitors.
“The district council was asked to investigate a potential breach of planning law at the Marine Boathouse.
“This was in relation to the erection of flag poles without planning consent being in place.
“When in contact with the Marine Boathouse on this matter, we also highlighted to Mr Gillison that lights, previously at the front of their building, forming a canopy effect, might also require planning consent.
“As the lights have been removed for the siting of the Christmas tree, this matter is now resolved.
“Planning consent is technically required for the flag poles but on this occasion it isn’t in the public interest to persue this matter.
“Therefore, there are no outstanding enforcement issues relating to the Marine Boathouse.”