Newquay mechanic forced to close 40 year business - Auto Resprays
A NEWQUAY mechanic said his life has "ended" after plans to demolish the garage he has run for 40 years - and replace it with seven houses - were given the go-ahead on appeal.
Ian Morcom, known locally as Porky, has managed Auto Resprays at Tolcarne Mews for more than four decades, leasing the premises from St Austell Brewery.
However, the corporate heavyweight decided the area has become tatty and applied to level the units on the site and build seven affordable homes.
The application was rejected back in March, but brewery bosses appealed against the decision.
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Planning inspector Douglas Machin approved the application on January 7 claiming that the "loss of the site from employment use would be outweighed by the gain of new homes in the urban area of Newquay".
Mr Morcom, 63, has closed the garage and is currently moving his tools out of the premises.
He told the Cornish Guardian that he would never find another job again at his age.
"I am cut up about it," he said.
"My garage is just absolutely gone. I have not got a date yet but my business is now defunct.
"I am up to my eyes in it trying to move 40 years worth of tools out. I have put a lot of money into all of it.
"I have paid St Austell Brewery half a million pounds in rent – I could have bought somewhere for that had I have known.
"I feel completely let down by the brewery. It hasn't tried to contact me; I haven't heard a thing from them."
Mr Morcom said he did not know what was next as he couldn't afford to move to Treloggan as it was "too expensive".
In the appeal decision online, Mr Machin said he was "mindful" that the site currently accommodated one local car repair business employing two people but that there was "no evidence" that alternative premises for the "small business" would not be available in Newquay.
He continued: "The proposal would add to the supply of small homes in the town, the design of which the Council confirms accords with the Cornwall Design Guide.
"These homes would appear to be also needed to assist the Council to meet the wider and very important requirement to provide at least a five year supply of housing sites across the County.
"There are no sound or compelling reasons to deny planning permission."
Adam Luck, estate director at St Austell Brewery, said: "The planning officer had supported the proposals from the start so we were very pleased that the appeal overturned the objections to the Tolcarne Road development. The derelict buildings can now be replaced with much needed housing."