PART of an insurance premises in Skipton has been given the go-ahead for change of use to a mini cab booking office.

The application, which officers had recommended for approval, included retrospective planning permission for an external antenna.

Craven District Council planning committee sitting on Monday heard that 13 letters of representation had been received with fears that mini cabs would park on double yellow lines outside causing traffic problems.

Other fears included noise and light pollution and stated there were other commercial premises where the mini cab business could operate from.

Julian Fattorini, of Providence Quarter Ltd which manages Providence Quarter on behalf of leaseholders, said they objected to the antenna which was an eyesore and was concerned about vehicles blocking the cul de sac.

He told the meeting: “This antenna was erected at 8pm on July 20 last year. When the men were questioned they said it was for the internet and that they didn’t need planning permission.”

Mr Fattorini said that a planning application had only been made when an enforcement notice to remove it was presented.

He noted the site was is in a conservation area and in view of the Devonshire Inn, which used to be the Duke of Devonshire’s town house.

“It is an eyesore in the area and is completely inappropriate and out of keeping.”

Mr Fattorini added that the business was being placed next to a popular nighttime location to benefit from customers and that this would cause noise disruption to residents.

Applicant Sharrafit Ali said he had noted the concerns of residents and would change the colour and appearance of the antenna so it would blend into the street scene.

He also said there would be no cars visiting the premises.

“An operator will sit inside and give jobs out to drivers. There is no need for anyone else to be in there.

“The business has been running for five years and the place was chosen for affordability and because it was still in a commercial area.”

He added that there were several antennas nearby and theirs did not stand out more than others.

Councillor Chris Rose said: “I have to say that I cycle up and down Newmarket Street regularly and I have never noticed it.”

Councillor Paul Whittaker added that there were aerials all up Newmarket Street.

Members voted to approve the plans with the conditions that the mini cab booking office be undertaken by Mr Ali for a temporary period of six months.

The reason was that the full extent of the booking office on neighbouring amenity could not be assessed prior to use.