A BUILDER in Kidderminster has been given 28 days to tear down a 'mini pub' in his garden over claims he has been illegally selling alcohol.

Carl Roberts, 49, says he built the five-by-seven-metre outbuilding in his back garden in Teme Avenue two years ago to be used for family parties and barbecues with neighbours.

But the father-of-two has now been ordered to remove the pub, which includes its own bar, pool table and flatscreen TV, after a Bromford housing inspector claimed it was breaching building regulations and licensing laws, namely by selling alcohol.

Kidderminster Shuttle:

A letter sent by Bromford on December 18, which calls for the bar to be removed within 28 days, reads: "Following our recent visit to your property to inspect the large building in the rear garden, it appears you have built a micro bar and it is apparent that this is not being used for personal use."

A following letter from Worcestershire Regulatory Services goes on to say that "information has been provided to us that licensable activities, including the sale by retail of alcohol, are being carried on" at the property, and warns that "enforcement action will be taken" if licensable activities continue.

Neighbours have rallied to defend Carl, who insists the pub is only used by family and friends, and has never sold alcohol.

He said: "The only things the pub has been used for are kid's parties and the occasional barbecue.

"I've never had any complaints and no one has ever had a problem with it before. Bromford came round after our neighbour had a fire in their shed and now I'm being told I need to take it down.

"I'm a builder by trade so I know how to build a decent shed. It's not something I've just knocked up - it's cost me about £6,000 to build. A lot of money has gone into it."

Kidderminster Shuttle:

Carl said he will be appealing Bromford's decision, while his neighbours have pledged to write letters to Bromford and the local regulatory services to back him up.

Jo Fieldhouse, head of locality for Bromford, said: “All customers are required to obtain written permission when planning alterations to their home and this is something which every person living in our homes agrees to as part of their tenancy agreement with us.

“Unfortunately the process wasn’t followed on this occasion and, when a surveyor assessed the structure at 12 Teme Avenue, we found it not only conflicted with our own guidelines on what is acceptable but it was also above the size allowable without planning permission from the local authority.

"Where we find there to be issues with the structure, or its construction or use, our standard procedure is to give customers 28 days to remove it as we have done in this case.”

Worcestershire Regulatory Services said its warning letter was standard procedure, after being alerted to potential licensable activities on the property.