Council backing forcrash victim’sbungalow plan

Date: Friday 22nd December 2017
Paul Holroyd and his partner, Allison, who are being allowed to build a new home.
Paul Holroyd and his partner, Allison, who are being allowed to build a new home.

A KIRKBY Stephen man who was involved in a life-changing accident which left him paralysed from his chest down has won planning permission from Eden Council for a wheelchair-accessible bungalow at a camp site on the edge of town.

Paul Holroyd, who owns and manages Takoda Camping, was seeking approval at a meeting of Eden Council’s planning committee for the purpose-built development which would mean he could live on site and continue to run the camping business with his partner, Allison.

Mr. Holroyd was working as a traffic officer for Highways England on the M6, near Tebay, in February, last year, when football agent Peter Morrison lost control of the Mercedes ML 4x4 he was driving and hit Mr. Holroyd and his colleague Adam Gibb, of Penrith.

Mr. Gibb died as a result of the collision and Morrison is waiting to be sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court after being found guilty of causing death and serious injury by dangerous driving.

The planning application included a statement from Mr. Holroyd’s occupational therapist which sets out his particular needs following the accident. He currently rents a bungalow in Kirkby Stephen which does not fulfil all his requirements.

Between Mr. Holroyd and his partner, they have seven children. Most of them are beyond school age, but the youngest still attends school in Kirkby Stephen and the second youngest is at Kendal College.

“A property is required which is close to the applicant’s dependent children’s school and college and to his family GP in Kirkby Stephen,” councillors were told in a report.

Since April last year, Mr. Holroyd had been searching for suitable accommodation in the locality through housing associations and estate agents, but no home had been identified which met his needs.

David Wright, Eden Council’s planning services development manager, said the residential development being proposed was needed to support an existing rural business, which was a campsite just north of Kirkby Stephen. It provides a vital service for walkers on the popular coast to coast route.

There had been 15 letters in support of the application and it also had the backing of Kirkby Stephen Town Council, the meeting was told.

Allan Armstrong (Con, Long Marton) asked why the application had been brought before the committee when the local community all support it. He was told it had been called in by Kirkby Stephen councillor Trevor Ladhams in order to get a fair hearing. The plan received unanimous approval from the planning committee.