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Cochrane Park concern as Government quango overturns decision to refuse takeaway

November 25, 2009 6:00 PM

Lib Dem councillor for North Heaton Greg Stone has attacked a decision by the Planning Inspectorate to overturn the city council's decision to refuse planning permission for conversion of a shop at Red Hall Drive, Cochrane Park into a hot food takeaway. Many residents of the Cochrane Park area including Red Hall Drive, Dimbula Gardens, and Turbinia Gardens supported a campaign against the application, supported by North Heaton councillors.

However, the council's decision to refuse permission for the scheme was taken to appeal by the applicant. After review by a planning inspector from outside Newcastle (the Inspectorate is based 300 miles away in Bristol), the refusal has been overturned and steps are now being taken by the owner to open the premises as a takeaway.

Greg said "I am unhappy that an unelected bureaucrat has overturned the democratic decision made by Newcastle council to respect local wishes and refuse this takeaway. This is the third time this has happened in this area in recent years, following two similar cases on Newton Road, and we are currently powerless to prevent the Government over-ruling us in this way. This decision does nothing to address local concerns about litter in the area from drivers parking up and eating their lunch, and nor does it help to improve the vitality of this small area of local shops. I would like to see planning law changed to give objectors the same right to appeal against an approval as applicants have to appeal against a rejection".