A government inspector has upheld an enforcement notice served by Wealden District Council over a garage canopy, which was built without planning permission.

Pricewatch Limited, the owners of the garage – known as Selmeston Service Station – on the A27 at Selmeston, now have four months to demolish the canopy after losing the appeal proceedings.

The company had applied for planning permission in 2017 but withdrew the application. The canopy over the garage forecourt was later constructed during the first government Covid-19 lockdown of 2020.

An enforcement notice was served by the council in July 2020 and the garage owners appealed against that notice.

In the decision, dismissing the appeal, released this month, the planning inspector said the overly contrived and elaborate design of the canopy was intrusive and harmed the character and appearance of the Selmeston Conservation Area and the South Downs National Park.

The inspector’s decision has been welcomed by Wealden District Council.

Councillor Ann Newton, the authority’s portfolio holder for Planning, said, “We are pleased that the planning inspector has dismissed the appeal. It shows that unacceptable developments in protected landscapes will not be tolerated and we will continue to take robust enforcement action where necessary.”