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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Go-ahead to replace derelict squash club with house

The owner of a derelict squash club has cleared the first hurdle in his plans to demolish the property, which is classed as listed only because it is attached to another listed property by a strip of metal.

Allerdale planners have this week granted permission to George Hodgson to knock down the club, in Maryport, even though the authority’s officers were recommending the development be thrown out.

But work can’t begin on the demolition of the club, which will be replaced by a house, until listed building consent is gained.

Mr Hodgson’s agent, Bob Hardon, of Workington’s Abbey Building Design, said that because the club is attached to the Middle Tap public house, which is a listed building, it means that the squash club also falls into the same category.

“It is only attached by a piece of lead flashing,” said Mr Hardon. “Although it is not listed, it theoretically is because it is attached to a listed building – this is the stupidity of the rules and regulations.”

He said that he was confident the listed consent would be approved in the near future and that demolition work would begin later this year.

Speaking about the decision, Mr Hardon said that he and Mr Hodgson were “pleased” with the outcome.

Councillors were recommending that the plans be thrown out, because of the reduction of privacy for neighbours, especially from the windows.

Mr Hardon said that even though his client had been granted permission, he would still work with the council to find a suitable compromise.

Six letters of objection were submitted from neighbours who had concerns about privacy, visual impact and scale of the proposed house.

The squash courts have not been used since 2001.

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