Pensioner and son’s anguish over new Garstang plans

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A Garstang town centre resident says planning rulings are blighting her life.

Mrs Kathleen Duerden and her son John Brierley spoke out during a meeting of the planning sub-committee of Garstang Town Council.

They are furious at proposals submitted to Wyre Council to build a rear dormer and divide one flat to create two one-bedroomed self-contained flats at 53 Market Place.

Mr Brierley stressed the development would be intrusive and was the latest in a long saga of contested planning applications and approvals which had had a detrimental effect on his mother’s quality of life and property, leaving her cottage property off Park Hill Road, directly overlooked.

He said the existing flat’s resident could see directly into his mother’s bathroom and bedroom from their flat, and as a consequence his mother had to keep the windows covered. He feared the creation of two flats would further aggravate the problem.

They also complained that intially Mrs Duerden had not been informed of the application.

Her son said: “My mother has not been able to enjoy her property for three years now over what’s been going on and I don’t think these people understand how bad it’s been for my mum.”

But though Garstang Town Councillors said they sympathised with Mrs Duerden, they felt they could not object to the plans and that the development was “ not going to cause a lot of issues really.” The application will now be considiered by Wyre Council.

Flat owner Mr David Evans also spoke at the meeting, noting the change had already been made from business use to residential he said: “That property and the cottage is there - unfortunately that’s just the way it is.” He said if the dormers were set back they would have “no visual impact.”

Mr Evans added that privacy would be honoured and said: “I can’t see in any windows - I don’t have any aspirations to.”

Town and County Councillor Sandra Perkins said it was important to keep the high street occupied.