A government inspector has rejected an appeal on plans to build flats in Ambleside due to flooding concerns.

The planning inspectorate has dismissed an appeal from Barbara Thubron over the Lake District National Park Authority’s decision to turn down proposals for the construction two local occupancy flats on land next to The Courtyard on Rothay Road.

The appeal decision notice states: “The appeal scheme would provide two local occupancy dwellings which would have a limited benefit to the local housing stock. However, the adverse impacts of siting the dwellings within an area of known flood risk would outweigh this benefit.

“The character and appearance of the conservation area would be preserved. Nevertheless, this lack of harm weighs neutrally, neither for nor against the proposal. The proposal conflicts with the development plan when considered as a whole and there are no material considerations presented to indicate that the decision should be made otherwise than in accordance with it. Therefore, the appeal is dismissed.”

According to planning documents the proposed development would involve the construction of a detached two storey building on part of the car park, containing two local occupancy flats – one single bedroomed, the other with two bedrooms.

The appellant states the need for homes in the area outweighs the policy objections surrounding flood risk.

The appeal statement says: “It is acknowledged by the national park authority and the applicant that the need in Ambleside for small local occupancy properties is currently not being met, either quantitatively or qualitatively, with demand forecast to increase steeply as the number of students coming to the university campus rises.

“In the absence of a large scheme in the town to deal with this existing and growing need the proposal will make a small contribution towards meeting it. For these reasons it is argued that there are very special housing needs in the town, and that in these circumstances the cumulative weight of these needs outweighs the weight of the policy objections relating to flood risk.”

However, the planning inspectorate says there is no ‘substantive evidence’ that hospitality workers or students would need to live in Ambleside if they worked or studied there.

It adds: “It cannot be assumed that they would not have their own vehicles or that they would work outside of the availability of public transport.”

The planning inspectorate dismissed the appeal on January 31.