A LUXURY Lake District hotel has been given the go-ahead to put up cameras in its car park to crack down on parking “abuse”.

But the Laura Ashley Belsfield Hotel, Bowness, was blocked from erecting 12  warning signs for motorists.

The Grade II-listed hotel was given planning permission to roll out a Parking Eye number plate recognition system featuring two cameras. But its application to erect 11 signs on 13ft-tall poles and a wall-mounted sign was turned down.

It means the cameras cannot legally be operated until the signage has been agreed by the Lake District National Park Authority.

The park’s development control committee felt 12 signs was “overkill” for a car park in the Bowness conservation area.

The four-star hotel has 80 parking bays and Parking Eye said it wanted to ensure spaces are available for “genuine” site users.

It said: “The proposal will ensure that the existing car parking is used more effectively and reduce the amount of abuse that occurs.”

The two planning applications were discussed at a meeting in Kendal yesterday.

The cameras and the signs were recommended for approval by park planners.

Committee member Paul Turner backed the cameras but asked: “Why so many signs for such a relatively small car park?”

Planning officer Holly Beavitt-Pike replied: “It’s so they can advertise it and people cannot say they are not aware of the signage.”

Member Geoff Davies said Windermere Town Council had objected to “car park paraphernalia” leading to an “urbanisation” of the area.

Dr Davies said: “It’s already a car park, which some people might very well feel is not aesthetically pleasing, but this doesn’t make it any worse.”

The cameras were agreed seven votes to one objection.

However, a separate application for the poles and signs was defeated four votes to two with one abstention.

Panel member Vicky Hughes said: “I will go against the officer’s recommendation, I feel it will create a litter of poles and posts and would be very harmful to the conservation area.”

Mr Turner said 11 signs and a wall-mounted sign was “far too many” and represented “overkill”.

David McGowan, head of development management, said the refusal was made on the grounds of the setting of the listed building in a World Heritage Site and the impact on the Bowness conservation area.