Row over new car showroom

Bristol Street Motors at Carrville, Durham.
Bristol Street Motors at Carrville, Durham.
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A CAR dealership’s plans to knock down its showroom to make way for a replacement could get the go ahead, despite concerns from neighbouring homes.

Vertu Motors has applied for permission to demolish existing showrooms and offices at its Bristol Street Motors site in High Street, Carrville, Durham, and build a new base and refurbish its garage workshops.

Parking on the plot and the sales area is to also be reconfigured, as a lease covering land it uses to the east is coming to an end.

The dealership has had a presence on Carrville’s High Street for more than 40 years through several operators, with the buildings left largely unchanged.

Vertu bought the site two years ago and says it wants to improve it, as well as the working conditions for its staff.

In the application, it says: “After over 40 years on the site, the proposed refurbishment and new build works will provide an enjoyable and safe working environment and strong economic presence in Carrville and County Durham.”

Belmont Parish Council has been among those to raise objections due to concerns about restrictive covenant, boundary treatment, designs of the buildings, ventilation and spray shop, oil and toxic chemicals, hours when construction will take place, as well as bats. Twenty letters of objection have been sent to Durham County Council against the development as well as a petition signed by 26 people.

Those against the plans are concerned about parking, noise nuisance, and vermin.

Senior planning officer Chris Baxter, in a report which will go before councillors, said it is acknowledged operations on the land will not be changed and many of the issues are already experienced by residents.

He also says a condition could be made to restrict demolition and construction hours could be put in place so people are no disturbed at unreasonable hours.

The report states: “Overall, it is considered that the proposals detailed in this application would not have an adverse impact on the amenities currently enjoyed by the residents of neighbouring properties.”

The plan will be discussed on Tuesday at a meeting of the Area Planning Committee for the Central and East areas, to be held at 1pm at the Glebe Centre in Murton.