Neighbourhood development order for Cumbrian town passes referendum

Out-Law News | 21 Jul 2014 | 3:49 pm |

A neighbourhood development order (NDO) to allow certain types of development and changes of use in a Cumbrian town without the need for planning permission has passed referendum.

The NDO proposes to permit the change of use of the ground floors of commercial properties along Main Street and Station Street in the centre of Cockermouth into restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments and to allow tables, chairs, parasols and heaters to be positioned along the streets for the consumption of food and drink.

Also proposed is permission for the conversion of the upper floors of shops and certain businesses in Market Place into up to four residential flats, with a maximum of two flats per floor, and for the replacement of shop fronts, doors and windows in accordance with approved designs.

The Cockermouth parish was designated as the Cockermouth Neighbourhood Area in November 2012. The Town Council brought forward the NDO in collaboration with the district and county councils, trade groups and the Cockermouth Civic Trust and resolved in May to proceed to referendum following its examination by an independent planning inspector in March.

A referendum took place on 17 July asking residents of Cockermouth to vote on a single question: "Do you want the type of development in the neighbourhood development order for Cockermouth to have planning permission"? The number of votes cast was 1,282, representing 19% of the electorate, with 772 "yes" votes, 496 "no" votes and four rejected votes.

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