Councillors said they were ‘left with no choice’ but to allow a transport company to continue to park lorries and trailers on Fairfield’s Tongue Lane Industrial Estate.
The approved application - which one councillor branded ‘dishonest and manipulative’ at a High Peak Borough Council Development Control meeting on Monday - means LD Transport Services Limited now has permission to park 15 heavy goods vehicles (HGV) and 12 HGV trailers on the site.
The controversial decision was met with jeers from members of the public, who claim the lorries constantly travelling up and down residential streets in Fairfield are making their lives a misery.
However, the council’s legal team stressed this was not a planning application but a certificate of lawful development, and that as the company had been using more than the previously permitted ten HGVs and ten trailers on the site for more than ten years without sanctions, nothing could now be done to stop it.
Councillor Lance Dowson said: “It doesn’t seem right that we are rewarding people for breaking the rules.”
Coun Samantha Flower said: “I do not at all feel comfortable with the situation we have been put in.” The application had received numerous complaints some of which say more lorries than the previously agreed number have been parking on the site for a considerable number of years which the council’s legal team said acts as evidence in this case.
Residents at the meeting said they had complained to the council before, but no action had been taken.
Georgina Wild said: “The fact the council has now decided to take action, when enough time has elapsed that they must issue permission, renders this consultation meaningless.”
Coun George Oakley said: “We have fallen down on enforcement, but looking to the future we have to seek to protect the residents from the noise and disruption from the lorries.”
A representative from Lomas Distribution was at the meeting and said: “We have provided evidence and sworn declarations about the number of vehicles on the site.”
Ward councillor Rachael Quinn, addressing the committee, said: “The application Lomas has submitted has been dishonest and manipulative. This is not existing use, it is an expansion of the business by 50 per cent.” Summing up, Coun Emily Thrane said: “It seems we are left with no choice but to vote in favour of the certificate however much we don’t want to.”