Objectors angry over proposed mansion redevelopment to seek legal action

Carr Lodge Mansion, Horbury.
Carr Lodge Mansion, Horbury.

Horbury residents angry about the proposed redevelopment of a beloved mansion say they are considering legal action to stop it going ahead.

Councillors granted planning permission for Carr Lodge Mansion to be converted into eight separate apartments earlier this month.

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This is despite a legally-binding covenant, which specifies the derelict Grade II listed building must remain a single home, remaining in place.

That agreement was drawn up when owner Azhar Hussain bought Carr Lodge from Wakefield Council in  2010.

Now Horbury Heritage Trust, whose members were among 80 people to object to the planning permission, are considering their next steps.

An appeal is impossible under planning law, but trust chairman Mick Cudworth said that a judicial review of the decision, which would challenge its legality, is on the table.

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He said: “I think the frustrating thing from our point of view is that we may have been open-minded to something like a restaurant or hotel.

“If someone had come forward with an idea like that, we may have been happy to work with them, but the marketplace wasn’t tested in that regard.

“The only way we can change the decision legally is to ask for a judicial review which is a very expensive proposition.

“That’s an option we are considering but it’s far too early to give a decision on that. It would be premature to make a call on that now.”

Mr Hussain will have to apply under separate legislation for the covenant to be scrapped so he can press ahead with his plans.

He said: “As far as we’re concerned,we are providing an appropriate use for a listed building that one stage was at risk.

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“We will work with the council throughout the whole of the development process and make sure any conditions imposed are complied with.

“As far as we’re concerned, we’re ensuring the building has a long term future.”