BARROW’S MP moved into his town centre office without first obtaining change of use planning permission.

Simon Fell explained why a planning application for his town centre base has only now been listed publicly.

Public records on the Barrow Council shows a weekly list of submitted applications, with Mr Fell’s Barrow constituency hub among those included this week.

However, the MP said the retrospective application to change the use of the Cavendish Street building from a shop to an office was in fact submitted in February.

Staff worked at the site for a few weeks in March before lockdown and have returned this month.

The Furness Conservative MP listed obtaining a central office in the town as high on his list of priorities when he was elected with an overwhelming majority in December’s general election.

The office space at the east end of Cavendish Street was formerly used as a shop by Ramsdens pawnbrokers, which now occupies a premises in Portland Walk.

Mr Fell said: “The plans went in in February. It’s just been acknowledged now.

“We moved in as soon as we could after the election so that staff would have somewhere to work, but also so we could hold surgery appointments and community meetings there.”