PLANS to set up a business park on the edge of Kendal have been given approval by the district council's planning committee. 

The project on land to the north of Meadowbank Business Park, Shap Road, is to cost an estimated £7m. 

"It's been a long, hard road, nearly three years since the first inception of the proposal," said applicant David Smith, managing director of Rayrigg Motors, which was bought out by Lloyd Motor Group earlier this year. 

"We have just had to be patient."

Mr Smith said all the space on the business park had already been claimed by companies and that there was now a waiting list.

The application site is 6.7 hectares in size and extends for 50m beyond the development boundary of the town - into open countryside.

In a report produced ahead of Thursday's planning committee meeting, case officer Andrew Martin said the land beyond the boundary provided space for the 'sustainable disposal' of surplus topsoil. 

He said it provided an 'enhanced opportunity' for landscape mitigation and offered 'the prospect of achieving the required biodiversity net-gain entirely on site'.

READ MORE: Decision to be made on £7m business park and car dealership on edge of Kendal

Mr Smith, managing director of Rayrigg Motors, said: "There's got to be an element of elasticity to allow things to progress. 

"If we couldn't have done what we have done and had the support of planners, effectively the whole thing would have just collapsed and nothing would have happened."

The submission made was a hybrid application. Full permission was granted for a roundabout off the A6 to support the development, a spine road linked to the roundabout, a Kia motor dealership and a shared access road serving the site. Outline approval was given to the business park.

Despite approval for the motor dealership being granted, it is understood Lloyd Motor Group is looking at various different options when it comes to a new site.

Mr Smith said the space would have to be marketed to other motor companies were Lloyd Motor Group to turn it down.

An earlier version of the plans was approved by the planning committee in October. An amended application was submitted in February 2022 that included the extension of the site beyond the town’s development boundary and the moving further north of the roundabout.

The Westmorland Gazette: LOCATION: The application site. Picture: South Lakeland District Council planning portalLOCATION: The application site. Picture: South Lakeland District Council planning portal

Mr Martin told Thursday’s meeting: “There is an opportunity here to release an important employment allocation and provide some valuable opportunities to local businesses.”

Cllr Susanne Long said: “We very much need an industrial area.

“We are struggling to find enough area in town for businesses that want to come here.”

The application was given unanimous approval.