A business owner has warned they will legally challenge a Barrow council decision to allow 61 new houses on Walney – if their property floods.

Planners this week gave permission for Leck Construction to build across two plots on Solway Drive – either side of West Point House.

Heather Phillips, who runs West Point House luxury accommodation with her husband John, told the planning committee that it would worsen an existing surface water drainage problem, which could eventually flood their property which is undergoing a £350,000 refurbishment.

She claimed that could result in the loss of the business and 14 jobs.

Mrs Phillips told the hearing: “If we flood, we will pursue Barrow Borough Council for loss of earnings. I understand the sale of this land will net the council £325,000. Please be aware our lost income will be £250,000 a year.”

Mrs Philips branded the scheme a ‘flawed’ proposal and claimed it was ‘contrary’ to policies.

Objector Anthony Johnson, of Spey Walk, said it would displace car parking.  “The roads around that area are very, very narrow and people are double parking constantly.” He said ‘no consideration’ had been given about the parking and traffic impact on nearby residents.

Andrew Murphy, a commercial director for Leck Construction, said it employed 100 people and had been based in Barrow for more than 80 years. 

He said a number of difficulties had been considered during the scheme’s design and it included garages, on-site parking and landscaping.

Of the drainage concerns, he said for more than 12 months, the company’s water engineers, United Utilities and Cumbria County Council as the flood authority, had worked to come up with solution.

It involved a brand new water surface drainage system, extensive underground storage, the attenuation of surface water and the natural sustainable drainage system, he said.

Mr Murphy said it would reduce the amount of water going into the under pressure combined sewer, and help alleviate the historical local flooding.

“This development will provide continual employment for our workforce as well as a good quality mixed housing scheme,” said Mr Murphy.

Principal planning officer Charles Wilton told the committee that both United Utilities and the flood authority were satisfied the proposed drainage scheme addressed residents’ concerns.

Committee chairman Cllr Colin Thomson proposed the officer’s recommendation to pass the plan be agreed.

The 10-member committee gave it the nod with two councillors objecting.