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Illegal cafe shut after provost opens it.

A CIVIC leader opened a new business - which was then shut down after council staff discovered it was illegal.

Stephanie Young, provost of East Ayrshire, was taken by chauffeur-driven car for the opening of a tearoom near Craufurdland Castle.

The provost posed for publicity photos and mingled with staff and the first customers at Cafe on the Lochan, near Fenwick.

The eco-friendly cafe boasts recyclable building materials, toilets which use collected rainwater and locally sourced produce.

But the venture had no planning permission or building warrant.

Six days after the opening ceremony, enforcement officers turned up and the cafe was closed.

A spokeswoman for East Ayrshire Council said the provost had accepted the invitation in good faith.

She added: "This was done not knowing the facility had not received planning permission or a building warrant.

"The council are now awaiting retrospective planning applications for the building."

Simon Houison Craufurd, son of the 28th Laird of Craufurdland, said the builders had led him to believe all permits were in place.

He added: "It was obviously embarrassing for this to happen but at the end of the day we were given incorrect information, so the council were quite within their rights.

"We're trying to sort it out as soon as possible."

The incident follows earlier embarrassment for Tory councillor Young.

She was caught using her mobile phone while driving outside the council HQ in Kilmarnock last month and was fined pounds 60.

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 5, 2009
Words:244
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