TWO controversial Cockermouth planning applications which were rejected by Allerdale Council will go to appeal.

Opus North, whose plan to build a B&M Homestore on Low Road was rejected by the Development Panel in February, has launched an appeal.

One has also been lodged by Robert Slack regarding an application for 27 homes on the other side of Low Road which was rejected by the planning panel in April.

Allerdale council development panel voted to recommend refusal of the Opus North application amid claims the development would spoil Cockermouth’s character and lead to a loss of precious employment land.

These were the same reasons given when the panel threw out the application in July 2018.

The town’s chamber of trade, civic trust and town council all opposed the development, with representatives for each speaking at the meeting.

They all stressed they would support a B&M Homestore in the town centre.

The day before the meeting, then council leader Alan Smith was presented with a 721-name petition in support of the application.

A spokesman for Opus North said: “We have launched an appeal against Allerdale Council’s rejection of our plans for a B&M Home Stores on Low Road, Cockermouth, and we are waiting for an appeal date.

"We believe that our planning application is fully compliant with the council’s policies and are optimistic that the appeal will find in our favour.

"We remain committed to delivering a B&M Home Stores for the people of Cockermouth.”

The homes plan was thrown out after the planning panel heard claims that the houses would spoil the area around The Fitz, a Grade II-listed Georgian mansion.

Gillian Telford, a member of the town's Civic Trust and Cockermouth Vision, said the houses were “ill-placed” and would cause “immeasurable harm” to the historic countryside setting.

Allerdale will be contacting everyone who made a representation to either application with details about how they can comment. Others should contact the planning inspectorate through their website.

People can comment on the Fitz application until August 13. The appeal will be done in writing.

The Opus North appeal will involve a hearing in the area. Comments need to be in by August 16.

No date has yet been set for either appeal.

An Allerdale spokesman said: "The easiest way for people to make representations on the planning appeals is for people to find the application on the planning inspector website:

"The reference number for the Fitz is: APP/G0908/W/19/3231570. The reference number for the retail development is: APP/G0908/W/18/3218594."