Single vote breaks rules for site plan
Published at 16:39, Thursday, 13 September 2012
AN angry homeowner has hit out at Lake District bosses for breaking their own policies to allow a major planning application to go ahead.
Former paramedic Ron Dickson fought proposals to build a new car showroom on a green field site just metres from his home in Lindale.
But the plans, for a new Toyota dealership and workshop at the existing Bateman BMW and Mini, were passed by one vote at the authority’s development control meeting in April.
Now Mr Dickson, who retired to his bungalow with his disabled wife Noelle in 1996, claims he has received no acknowledgements to his letters querying the decision.
The father of one added he has been told his only right of appeal is to take the case to judicial review – a complex legal process costing tens of thousands of pounds.
“All I’ve got is my home and they’ve ruined that with this decision,” Mr Dickson said.
“So how am I supposed to afford to get a second opinion on whether this development should actually be allowed to go ahead?
“I’ve lost faith in the national park authority. It’s totally weighted against individual residents and their rights.”
Members of the authority’s development control committee were told the proposals went against existing planning policy when the matter was discussed five months ago.
But it succeeded by one vote on the basis that 21 jobs at the firm would be saved.
The committee was also told that a further 13 jobs could be created over five years if planning permission was given a green light.
In a letter explaining the case to Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron, LDNPA chief executive, Richard Leafe, claimed the application was seen as an exception to planning policy because it safeguarded 40 jobs.
Mr Dickson added: “Where did this figure come from? It’s seems to be a fabrication to justify the fact that they’ve bent their own rules to allow this application through.
“The whole thing stinks and I feel terribly let down by the system.”
LDNPA planning officer Ben Long responded to the claims, stating the Bateman Toyota application had been a finely balanced case.
He added that Mr Leafe had been talking in “higher terms” within the letter to Mr Farron and that the figure of 40 jobs had been “an approximation”.
“It was a real balancing act which on this occasion amounted to significant economic benefits against limited harm to the land,” Mr Long said.
“Economic prosperity within the national park is a key planning consideration and the committee felt it warranted a departure from planning policy for this application.”
Mr Dickson was refused planning permission for a caravan park on the land in question in 2000.
And the Bateman Toyota application was itself first rejected by national park planners in 2009.
Mr Farron, who has repeatedly called for national park representatives to be publicly elected, said he hoped a mutually agreeable solution could soon be found.
“I would hope that a representative from the national park will meet with Mr Dickson to listen to his concerns and help find a way forward,” he said.
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
More Grange news
- Cumbria sex offender pensioner due in court today charged with loitering near children's play area
- Cumbria fly-tipper admits dumping his old sofa
- High winds close outdoor exhibition in South Cumbria
- Cartmel Races - Betfair Barbecue Day 2014
- Cartmel Races - Totepool Cumbria Crystal Hurdle Day 2014
- Two race horses perish at Cartmel races in South Cumbria (16 comments)
- Consultation begins on £1.4m South Cumbria homes proposal (1 comment)
- Cartmel Vintage Race Night
- Barrow bakery has recipe for success
- Car stolen in South Cumbria
- Barrow and Grange venues for summer street gallery exhibition
- Cumbria chef Simon Rogan wins another accolade
- Concerns over application for 68 new homes in Cumbria town
- Grange care home residents given month to leave (2 comments)
- Police appeal after Cumbria collision between car and pedestrian
- Work on multi-million housing development in South Cumbria under way
- Cumbria women invited to Dalton, Grange and Ambleside events to "change their lives"
- Look for elusive bird in Cumbria
- Supporters prepare South Cumbria lido Lottery cash bid (1 comment)
- Social media crimes in Cumbria on the increase
- Bizarre theft of Slimming World banner in Cumbria
- Cumbria businesswoman helps brave servicemen and women unwind
- UPDATE 2pm: 70 properties in Cumbria still without power
- Search is on to find a poster girl to be the face of Grange Lido campaign
- Heavy rain set to hit Cumbria today
Evening Mail homepage
ENERGY FOR LIFE 5.1k WALNEY FAMILY FUN RUN
Did you enjoy the Energy For Life 5.1k Walney Family Fun Run?
• Click here to pledge to take part in next year's event on September 2, 2012