Staithes man’s fight to sell former restaurant

Brian Kay outside Endeavour House in Staithes''w110907     Picture: Ceri Oakes
Brian Kay outside Endeavour House in Staithes''w110907 Picture: Ceri Oakes

THE OWNER of a former-award winning seafood restaurant has said he refuses to give up a fight to be allowed to sell it on the open market after a Government inspector turned down his bid.

Brian Kay of High Street put the historic building – the Endeavour Restaurant, which also has rooms – up for sale when it closed in November 2009.

Last July the Whitby Gazette reported how he wanted to sell it to Durham newlyweds Alex and Lee Holmes, whose dream was to make it their family home and let two of the four bedrooms as bed and breakfast accommodation but was restricted from doing so.

Mr Kay had obtained permission from the North York Moors National Park Authority for a change of use for the 200-year-old property.

But it was also subject to a national park policy which means that only local people or those who need to live in the national park for employment or family reasons can buy it.

The policy is aimed at ensuring villages remain thriving communities by preventing people from buying houses in them for holiday accommodation or as second homes and they were unable to buy it because they could not comply with the local occupancy condition.

At the time a furious Mr Kay claimed planners of putting policy before people and condemning the village to a slow death.

He has since appealed against the national park’s decision to remove the local occupancy restriction but it has been rejected by a Government planning inspector.

In dismissing Mr Kay’s appeal, Government planning inspector Mrs K Ellison said: “Whilst the characteristics of the property and its location may affect its marketability to some degree, the evidence provided has not been sufficient to convince me that the condition would be likely to cause the property to remain empty or unsold.”

Mr Kay told the Gazette: “I’m not saying anything about it at present but I’m continuing to have discussions with the national park and I’ll have a lot to say in two or three weeks’ time.

“I’m disappointed with the decision not just for myself but for the village.”

When Mr Kay first challenged the decision with the North York Moors National Park Authority it said its decision was to uphold its policy of restricting new housing development was made in the longer term interests of protecting housing in the national park for local people, or those with an essential need to live there for employment or existing family reasons.