PLANS to expand a business park and build five workspace units on an industrial estate in Kirkby Lonsdale are set to be turned down by the council.

Members of South Lakeland local area planning committee are recommended to refuse a planning application for the construction of five mixed use workspace units in Lane House Business Park.

This comes after the decision was previously deferred in September after councillors were minded to approve the plans  against planning officers’ recommendations.

According to council planners this allowed more time for further consideration to be given to reasons for granting planning permission contrary to the officers’ advice and to allow officers’ time to draft potential conditions should the application be approved.

Proposals include the extension of the existing site to build three additional buildings to form five mixed use units and to create 30 car parking spaces.

Previously planning officers recommended refusal and stated: “The application site is located within open countryside, as such, the proposal would not contribute to reducing the need to travel. Moreover, the site has poor accessibility by sustainable transport modes, which would make it highly likely that future users would rely on the private motor vehicle to access the proposal”.

They added the proposed development does not meet any of the ‘exceptional circumstances’ where the council will approve new development in open countryside.

Kirkby Lonsdale Town Council support the proposals due to there being ‘no opportunity’ for a business park in the town.

The town council state: “There is now no additional space for new business development in or near to Kirkby Lonsdale and providing such space in Kendal or Carnforth would not meet local need, which South Lakeland District Council has previously said should be in or close to Kirkby Lonsdale.

“The development boundary of Kirkby Lonsdale is drawn very tightly and there is no opportunity for new business park development in the town itself.

“One of the aims of Westmorland and Furness Council and the town council is to provide local employment opportunities and this is particularly the case where in Kirkby Lonsdale there is the QES Academy providing a large supply of well-trained students looking for employment locally.”

According to a design and access statement submitted with the application demand for the units is ‘exceptionally high’.

The statement concludes: “The proposed expansion of the Lane House Business Park is small scale and will provide much needed workspace for local businesses. The existing units are in high demand and will bring jobs to the area.

“The site location allows convenient access for all and has excellent links to the wider motorway and principle road network.”

Members of South Lakeland local area planning committee will discuss the proposals on February 15 at Kendal Town Hall.