New smoking shelter built without permission at Northampton nightclub breaks smoke free laws, says council

Stereo 33 built a smoking shelter in their courtyard without asking the borough council for permission.
Stereo 33 built a smoking shelter in their courtyard without asking the borough council for permission.

A Northampton bar's new smoking shelter could be pulled down after the owners built it without permission.

Stereo 33, in Bridge Street, furnished its courtyard in November 2018 by building a new wooden decking area and seven-feet-tall shelter with outdoor sofas.

A council environmental health officer says the smoking area is 50 per cent enclosed - meaning it does not comply with smoke free laws.

A council environmental health officer says the smoking area is 50 per cent enclosed - meaning it does not comply with smoke free laws.

But the nightclub built the smoking area without asking the borough council for planning permission.

And now, a senior environmental health officer from the council has ruled the new shelter does not comply with smoking laws.

In a letter to the council's planning more, health officer Alex Gatrix said: "In its current form, the structure will fail to comply with current smoke free legislation.

"If the smoking shelter is more than 50 per cent enclosed [which Stereo 33's new area is] then it does not comply with smoke free legislation and smoking cannot be permitted."

It comes as the bar has applied to the council to have the new smoking shelter signed off after the fact it was built - which Mrs Gratrix has advised the council now rejects.

A public consultation is now open for Stereo 33's neighbours to have their say on the new decking area.

The application by Stereo 33's owner director Dainis Tolvaisa, of Dee & A Leisure Ltd, will go in front of the Northampton Borough Council planning board in May.

If the council does not approve the application, they could order the new smoking shelter is taken down.