AN APPLICATION to remove a vehicle spray booth near Kirkby Lonsdale and replace it with a building for MOT testing has been approved.

The new, steel, portal-framed building will be built on the site of the smaller 'bolt-together' booth that currently exists at Kirkby Motors.

The site's address is listed in planning documents as Kendal Road. The application was put in by Phil Burton.

Michael Asher, chairman and chief executive officer of Better2Know, a sexual health testing company also in Kendal Road, wrote in support of the application.

He said: "My business is located on the Kirkby Lonsdale Business Park, and we use Kirkby Motors regularly for motor vehicle servicing, MOTs, petrol and light shopping.

"I want to see Kirkby Motors succeed as a business and I believe the proposed development of an improved MOT vehicle testing building would increase custom, benefit the Kirkby Motors business and greatly benefit me, my business and the local community.

"I encourage the planners to look upon this application favourably and approve it."

The new building will be 12.6 metres by six. The spray booth is six metres by 7.5.

South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) planning officer Lucy Isham said in her report: "The proposed development shall be used as an MOT testing building, which shall help to support and expand the existing, well-established business on site which already comprises of a tyre bay and body shop, vehicle repairs, a convenience store and petrol station, amongst other uses.

"Although larger, the proposed building shall replace an existing vehicle spray booth building on site and shall remain attached to the existing units.

"It is also considered that this activity could not be accommodated elsewhere within other buildings on site."

She noted that, 'to ensure the building on site is acceptable', it was 'considered appropriate' to limit its use to MOT testing only.

The plans were approved by SLDC subject to a number of conditions. These include development commencing no later than three years from the date of approval and a 'bird nest box', as shown on planning drawings, being installed and retained for the lifetime of the development.