Burnley Borough Council, Jul 2018Burnley Borough Council, Jul 2018


Used car dealer wins backdated permission to store vehicles on what was garden land

  • Sultan Alam had used site as unofficial overspill for his used car dealership
  • He sought to have a proper layout for 17 cars
  • Decision to convert council land into mosque car park was cited
  • Planning officer said change of use wouldn’t have ‘unacceptable impact’

Time 5:53 am, February 4, 2024

A second-hand car dealer who used former garden land as a vehicle storage area without permission has been given backdated approval for it.

Sultan Alam can keep 17 cars on what used to be open space in March Street, Stoneyholme, near his dealership after the recommendation by a Burnley Borough Council planning officer, according to the Lancashire Telegraph.

The ‘modest, rectangular’ site had been used as such for a while as overspill for Alam’s dealership but he now wanted to ‘regularise’ it with a proper layout as well as fencing.

It follows a mosque nearby being allowed to create a car park, and a number of conditions have been made.

The officer’s report said: ‘The site appears to be being used for the informal storage of vehicles and has a loose gravel surface.

‘However, it appears that it was previously and lawfully some form of private amenity space until at least July 2022.

‘Therefore, the existing use and surfacing are not lawful for planning purposes and the application is assessed on this basis.’

Alam said he wanted ‘full planning permission for the change of use of garden land to a car storage area with 17 spaces, including landscaping and 1.5-metre-high green wire gates’.

He highlighted a 2018 decision to grant full approval for a change of use of council-owned public amenity land to a car park in nearby Brougham Street, which serves the adjacent Jami Madjid Abubakr mosque.

The planning officer said in their report that where the mosque car park was concerned, the loss of public amenity space and the effect it had on residents was acceptable, said the Telegraph.

The officer added: ‘Whilst the circumstances of the proposal and the mosque car park are not directly comparable, there are some similarities between them.’

Athough there’d be a loss of amenity space, the planning officer said: ‘The proposed landscaping would soften the impact of the proposal and in contrast to the previous vegetation could be protected by a condition.

‘Therefore, having regard to the context and the mosque car park decision, it would be difficult to sustain an argument that the proposed car storage would have an unacceptable impact on the character and appearance of the area.’

Pictured at top via Google Street View is the Burnley Borough Council building

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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