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Thursday, 23 October 2014

South Lakeland car showroom plan is given green light

NATIONAL park planners have given a green light to a new car showroom in South Lakeland.

Bateman Toyota was granted planning permission for the development at Bateman BMW, near Lindale, at a meeting of the Lake District National Park Authority yesterday.

The decision could also pave the way for Booths supermarket to build new premises on the motor firm’s existing site in Grange-over-Sands.

The development control committee, which decides planning applications for the Lake District, heard the firm was set to lose its Toyota franchise if the newshowroom did not go ahead.

Bateman Toyota’s agent, Brian Barden, said 21 existing jobs would be lost in April 2013 if the company could not fulfil Toyota GB’s minimum showroom requirements.

He told the committee: “Bateman Plc is a major employer in national park terms. Letters received from Toyota GB set out what we have to provide in terms of a showroom and unfortunately we are confident the franchise would not be renewed past May 2013.”

The proposed development is planned for a green field site next to the Bateman BMW and Mini complex, off Kendal Road.

It would include a new showroom with workshop at the back, a car storage and preparation building as well as parking for both vehicles for sale and customers.

The site would be accessed through the existing entrance to Bateman BMW.

It is proposed the new development could lead to an extra 13 jobs over five years.

Ron Dixon, who lives 35 metres from the boundary of the proposed development with his wife Noelle, urged the committee to reject the application.

The former paramedic explained he had approached the authority in 2000 with plans to use the land in question as a caravan park but had been told permission would be “impossible” to gain.

Mr Dixon explained the noise associated with a new car business would be unacceptable as well as the loss of light from the proposed bunding of between four and six metres.

Mr Dixon said: “I am all for employment and I didn’t object to the first application for Bateman to use the site. But the impact of this proposal on us would be ridiculous. I would rather move than have this trauma again.”

An application to relocate the car showroom to Bateman BMW was turned down by national park planning bosses in 2009.

But the revised proposal was approved by one vote at the hearing, held at LDNPA headquarters in Kendal.

Committee member Prof Jeremy Rowan-Robinson said the decision was difficult and finely balanced.

“The main reason for me is the potential loss of jobs.

“I am minded to approve this because of these circumstances but I have to say I feel very sorry for Mr Dixon. If I was living there I wouldn’t like it.”

His colleague, Norman Clarkson, added: “We have a well established business which is creating employment and moving into this site will give extra employment.

“Likewise I also feel sorry for Mr Dixon.

“I have great concerns about him but I am sure Bateman’s will be good neighbours who will try to mitigate any noise issues.”

National park officers are now to stipulate that planning permission will only be granted if Bateman Toyota agree there will be no lights on between 7pm and 7am.

North West-based supermarket chain Booths hopes to build new premises on the existing Bateman Toyota showroom in Grange.

The firm was granted an extension to its planning permission for the site by South Lakeland District Council planners two weeks ago.

Have your say

Keep heading north Mary. There are too many people like you in Grange; Too much time on their hands and very vocal. A lot of Grange and District residents would welcome a Booths.

Posted by Alan on 4 May 2012 at 14:41

Chris, in the time when LARGE supermarkets delivering politely and very helpfully to your own doorstep at a minimal cost, how does having an expensive mini booths help? Chew on this, how will help Mr Bateman obtaining more land to develop on? That is the bigger question. Mr Bateman must be VERY special to be allowed to eat up the countryside eh!

Why does Grange need to be "dragged into the 21st Century" I love it because it hasn't been. I am ex Londoner, I don't want it *dragging* anywhere it is beautiful. OK slow drivers are a bit of pain... But I wouldn't change it. If you don't like it move on...

Posted by Mary on 17 April 2012 at 23:06

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