A COCKERMOUTH church has been denied planning permission to replace historic tiles from a path after councillors said the removal of the Victorian pavers would lead the town losing 'a unique bit of their culture'.

All Saint's Church in the town submitted an application for listed building consent for the removal of damaged Victorian pavers to central section of the Went, and replacement with granite setts, in September.

At a meeting of Allerdale Borough Councils development panel Tuesday, November 29, councillors decided to follow officers' advice and reject the application.

In support of the application, an agent for All Saints Church argued that the tiles needed to be removed from the Went for the safety of parishioners.

He said: "The reason for doing this is because they have now become loose they are a trip hazard and causing significant concern to members of the public accessing the Went.

"The setts over time have become uneven and cracked and it's causing issues for parishioners, pall bearers and members of the public."

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The agent said the church was wanting to replicate the section with new granite sets, which he said were used in many other places throughout Cockermouth.

He also argued that officers had approved a resin treatment for the new church car park which is 'less than two feet away' from the new application.

However, councillors felt that the historic tiles were a part of the town's history and therefore needed to stay on the Went.

Cockermouth councillor Alan Smith pointed out that the damage done to the tiles had been done by vehicle access up the walkway, which is not the intended use of the way.

He said: "Cockermouth is losing a lot of heritage for the future generations; it is a Georgian town, the church has been there over 150 years and this Went was built primarily for walking down, not for vehicular access, which is what has damaged these pavers.

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"If vehicles hadn't been going down there then they would have been the same as they were when they were first put down."

Speaking on the application Councillor Malcolm Grainger said: "What you are going to lose in Cockermouth is a unique bit of your culture. Why do people want to change these things? This is part of our heritage.

"We are forgetting where we come from. That is part of Cockermouth's history and I think it should be left alone."

Seven of the eight coucillors in attendance voted to follow officers' advice and reject the application, with one abstention.