Mr Richard Cuckson, and the applicant Mr Steve Marshall spoke in support of the application.
Councillor Vaughan Hodgson spoke in support of the application.
The report recommended that the panel refuse the application.
The report outlined the application and detailed the main issues within the report as follows:
· Parking and Turning
· Design and Material
· Historic Environment and Conservation area
· Economic Benefits
The application site is located within the centre of Bowness. Due to the nature of the proposal, officers considered that the primary planning consideration was the economic benefits of the proposed land use against any environmental harm deriving from highway issues.
Officers accepted that there would be economic benefits to the proposed scheme, and that it would act as a tourist facility within the village and a destination for walkers and cyclists using the Hadrian’s Wall recreational routes, thus contributing to the tourist economy. It was accepted that the scale of activity had been reduced through the omission of the bunk barn. Consideration had been given to the 12 covers extent of the proposal.
Officers acknowledged that the type of land use itself was compatible with its residential surroundings subject to securing environmental health conditions.
Officers advised that was targeting the walkers/cyclists along the route of the wall, this was not guaranteed and there would remain the potential for its use by people visiting the area by car. Members were referred to the concerns of the County Highways Officer.
The merits of this individual scheme were finely balanced especially given the limited scale of the works. However, despite the reduced scale of the operation the highway authority maintain their objections. In the light of these comments, although officers had explored options to alleviate the concerns, the scheme remained unacceptable and therefore was recommended for refusal.
Members then asked questions of the speakers in relation to access, car parking and the highway access.
In the ensuing debate, members discussed the weight afforded to the economic benefits of the proposal and its harm to the conservation area. Of specific consideration was whether the balance changed if the proposal was limited to 12 covers.
Officers sought clarification that members considered it necessary to limit the use to 12 covers.
Councillor Markley then moved a motion to approve the application on the grounds that the creation of a small tea room will benefit tourism, boost the local economy and enhance the Solway AONB subject to a condition limiting to use to 12 covers.
The motion was seconded by Councillor Annison.
Officers and members then discussed the local plan, the local economy and the impact on the highway.
A vote was taken on the motion, 8 voted in favour of the motion, 3 voted against the motion and 0 abstentions.
The motion was carried.
Reason for granting permission
“The development will provide significant benefits to the economy specifically in relation to tourism and the Solway Coast AONB. The impact to heritage assets will be less than substantial, including Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site and the Bowness on Solway Conservation Area. The benefits outweigh the less than substantial impacts and the proposal is considered in all respects to accord with policies S1, S14 and S17 of the Allerdale Local Plan Part 1 2014, the provisions of the National Planning Policy Framework and has been considered against the duties in the Listed Buildings Act 1990.”