Residents 'scared' by prospect of accidents on Colorado Way in Castleford, but car sales space approved
An outdoor car showroom will be created half a mile away from Castleford's Xscape complex, despite neighbours expressing fears about the prospect of accidents.
Local businessman Manish Nakra will be allowed to sell vehicles from a site on Colorado Way.
Mr Nakra had plans for a combined car wash, MOT centre and car sales pitches knocked back by Wakefield Council in January, amid concerns the proposal would clog up Colorado Way with traffic.
But he was later given planning permission for an MOT centre and now has approval for a car sales space, with the car wash having been expected to create most of the congestion.
A neighbour of the site told a planning meeting on Thursday that local residents were deeply concerned the idea would make the road more dangerous.
The objector, who has lived in the area for 21 years, told the meeting: "Once cars slow down to turn into the property and look at the cars on display, we do predict there will be more accidents.
"We would like to know as residents who will take responsibility for this.
"Residents are scared. They are scared of the accidents. They are scared of the increase in traffic and they just want to sit in their gardens and listen to their flowers."
The objector also told the meeting that since that a business set up by the applicant in 2018, "Has not yet submitted any finances to HMRC since its incorporation.
"The finances are now overdue by 18 months.
"How do we know he can actually afford the expansion?
"If not, we will be left with a derelict building along the only main road supplying the only tourist attraction in the region."
Mr Nakra's representative told the meeting that the proposal struck an, "Appropriate balance between financial viability and protecting neighbouring issues".
He also said that the idea would create jobs and contribute to economic growth.
He told councillors: "It will be a small-scale operation with only 23 car pitches.
"The applicant takes public safety very seriously.
"It's considered the car sales element will not impact on vehicle or pedestrian safety."
Mr Nakra's representative said that a "series of claims" reported from previous planning meetings about the site had been "inaccurate" and "caused great distress to the applicant and his family".
He added: "The applicant has acted with complete integrity throughout all of the planning applications.
"We'd like to make absolutely clear that this will not be a stepping stone towards a more disruptive use of the site, such as a car wash.
"The applicant fully respects the stance taken by members previously on this matter."
Councillors voted in favour of approving the proposals, although they insisted that the number of vehicles being brought to the site by a transporter truck be limited to two at a time.
Local Democracy Reporting Service