Business expansion plans approved

Darlington and Stockton Times: The new Redcar and Cleveland Leisure and Community Heart building where the meeting was held. The new Redcar and Cleveland Leisure and Community Heart building where the meeting was held.

A PLAN to expand an east Cleveland business has been given the go-ahead despite council officers recommending the application be refused.

The owner of the Wood Yard at Margrove Park wanted to build a new two storey building with wood storage on the ground floor and office space on the upper floor while changing the use of the current storage unit to a trailer and draft workshop.

Concerns had been raised at Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council’s regulatory committee, formerly the planning committee, that the proposed building could easily be made into a home with a change of use application once it was built.

Officers said the scheme was outside the development plan for the area and the proposal was not considered to be an appropriate diversification of an existing agricultural or forestry activity or other development requiring a countryside location.

Councillor Davis Williams said: “I don’t often go against officer recommendation but I think it will be an improvement for the area.”

The site, which is only accessible from a private track, is used for the preparation of logs for drying and burning.

Councillor Valerie Halton didn’t want a refusal of planning permission to jeopardise people’s jobs or business.

She said: “I have much hope that this business will succeed. I accept it looks like a house and is easily convertible but I don’t see the point in putting extra conditions on that cannot be implemented.”

The application was approved by the committee despite officer recommendation for refusal.

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