A SANDWICH shop has been ordered to stop serving.
Ell’s Kitchen is fighting for its future in a planning battle with Sunderland Council.
The business, in Whitehall Terrace, Hylton Road, is already appealing a decision which denied a change of use of premises, from retail shop to hot food takeaway.
Now it has been slapped with an enforcement notice by the authority, requiring the sale of hot food to stop.
Shop owner Raymond Peggie said: “The council stuck an enforcement notice on the shop door and it is going back 10 years.
“We’ve had to involve a proper planning officer solicitor, which has cost us a lot of money up to now.”
Planning enforcement notices are used to deal with unauthorised developments and can lead to fines and the closing of the property in question.
Ell’s Kitchen is still operating as normal because it has appealed the council’s decision to refuse it a licence.
Mr Peggie said: “It keeps the lasses who work for me with money in their pocket until Christmas, which is something.”
Now he is waiting for news on his appeal.
“It’s hard to say when we will find out what is happening,” he said.
“We’ve submitted them and that’s about all we can do now.
“I was gutted when the enforcement order along because I don’t understand it. They are citing things from 10 years ago – that is what I really don’t get.”
Mr Peggie bought the shop in 2008 and was under the impression it had the correct licences.
In that time Ell’s Kitchen has built up trade and passed five scrutiny awards from council inspectors, who gave it top marks of five stars for health and hygiene.
Colin Clark, head of planning and property at Sunderland Council, said: “A retrospective planning application for the use of Ell’s Kitchen as a hot food takeaway was refused in October of this year, on parking grounds and nuisance to neighbours.
“An enforcement notice has therefore been issued requiring the sale of hot food to stop.”
He added: “Mr Peggie has now lodged appeals against the council’s decision, which will be decided by the independent Planning Inspectorate.”