A COUNCIL has stood by its decision to close beach huts at a pub despite punters calling it a "kick in the teeth" for a local business.

The White Horse in Wokingham spent £4,000 on beach huts for when pubs reopened on April 12.

Landlord Clive had the outdoor pods installed to protect customers from the elements when they enjoy their drinks and meals.

However, on Saturday, May 1, Clive was told they couldn't be used during this phase of lockdown as they breach Covid-19 guidelines. 

The current rules allow pubs to be open outdoors only.

Bracknell News: Photo by The White Horse on Facebook Photo by The White Horse on Facebook

READ AGAIN: Landlord who spent £4,000 on 'beach huts' told it breaks Covid rules

Wokingham Borough Council (WBC)explained that if a structure has a roof, at least 50 per cent of the sides must be open for it to be considered outdoor space and therefore usable.

But what the team at the White Horse don't understand is why a family from the same household cannot use the beach huts. 

They also believe there is enough air circulation inside the huts.

However, a WBC spokesman said: “The council has a responsibility for enforcement of the legislation that sets out the various Covid business controls that have existed since March 2020 and carries out this enforcement through the Public Protection Partnership (PPP).

"In this case officers visited and advised that some of the structures in use had roofs and more than 50 per cent solid sides and so could not continue to be used."

They say the beach huts can be used again when pubs open indoors on May 17.

Readers of the Wokingham News who visit The White Horse pub expressed their opinions on the authorities decision to close the beach huts. 

Jan Rushforth said: "Unbelievable feel for them and the team. Have known Tom Clive & Anita for a while they have worked so hard in lockdown supporting the community, with essential food deliveries. What a kick in the teeth."

Carl Dyke said: "Ridiculous! What about that huge gap at the front? Isn't that big enough to allow airflow inside?" and Eva Riley simply said it's "Not fair." 

One resident thinks the council is correct in their decision. 

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Samantha Hills said: "But the rules state: To be considered 'outdoors', shelters, marquees and other structures can have a roof but need to have at least 50% of the area of their walls open at all times whilst in use - this doesn't comply to that....other places have complied and spent a lot of money doing so." 

The council added: "At every step of the way, the council and PPP have worked with businesses to help them operate within the legislation, including providing on-line briefings, responding to requests for advice and carrying out advisory visits if requested.

"We have also carried out many compliance checks as part of our overall response to the pandemic. We would urge all businesses to contact us for advice and support before making changes as a result of Covid legislation."