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Referendum could decide the fate of Carr House

Local people could vote on whether Mr Hoyle can live in Carr House Credit: ITV Border

A long running planning row in Cumbria could be settled by a public vote.

It would be one of the first cases of the Localism Act 2012 in action.

Eight years ago, Adam Hoyle renovated Carr House, situated in Mallerstang, near Kirkby Stephen.

The property had been redeveloped as an eco house, unconected to the national grid, with its own mini hydro electric plant.

However, to Mr Hoyle's surprise, Eden District Council told him he didn't have the necessary planning permission and ordered him to undo the work.

"Yeah I couldn't believe it, compete surprise.

The house has been here way back to the 1700's. It's called Carr House and it gives you an indication of what it is.

It's a house, it's not a barn or a new build it's an old house, it should be lived in I think."

– Adam Hoyle, owner of Carr House

To complicate matters further, Adam cannot undo the repairs because the roof has bats roosting inside, and they and their habitats are protected by law.

Now the issue is whether or not he can live in the house.

To try and reach a resolution, it is possible that around 4000 people in Kirby Stephen could be asked to vote on the matter.

New localism laws give people the power to have a referendum on this issue and if the new process goes ahead, the fate of Carr House could be decided by a public vote later this year.

Supermarket plans for Melrose

A major supermarket development is being planned for Melrose.The Co-operative group want to turn the St Dunstans petrol station and neighbouring 'The Whole Lot' shop into a class one supermarket.

They have lodged a planning application with Scottish Borders Council seeking permission for a partial demolition and a change of use for both premises.

The new supermarket for Melrose will be discussed by planners this Autumn.