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Family stunned by Turton 'granny flat' fury
A BUSINESSMAN has told how his plan to build a £50,000 granny flat for his wife’s parents in the grounds of his home turned into an ordeal.
David Lightbown was astonished at the level of hostility to the proposal from neighbours in Turton.
He told councillors that someone even told nearby residents he was really intending to build holiday lets when he appeared before them.
At Blackburn with Darwen planning committee the 53-year-old storage company owner spoke of how he and wife Angela had decided that her elderly parents needed to come and live with the family at their Chapeltown Road home.
Mrs Lightbrown’s 82-year-old Jack Tonge, already registered blind, had suffered a heart attack and his 83-year-old wife Dorothea could no longer cope.
He said: “We wanted to stay as family. We were amazed at the level of hostility in the village.
“There was even a petition where someone went round claiming we were building a holiday let. They were misled. We only wanted to provide a temporary granny flat in the garden. This has all been a bit emotional for us.”
The committee was told by officers that five of the people who signed the two petitions opposing the plan had withdrawn their signatures because the information they had been told was wrong.
Councillors approved Mr Lightbown’s proposal to erect a timber clad granny flat in the garden for five years.
Labour councillor Suleman Khonat said: “I think we all approve of keeping families together.”
His views were echoed by Liberal Democrat Paul Browne and committee chairman Jim Smith.
After the meeting Mr Lightbown said: “We spent £10,000 lowering the ground level and £40,000 on the single storey building so that it could not be seen by neighbours. It was very distressing.”
Next door neighbour Sandra Crowe told the committee in a letter of objection: “This application for planning permission of a granny annex is disgusting.”
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