THE boss of a Dalton garden centre which completed a £1m revamp without appropriate planning permission has been left devastated by the controversy caused.

Marc Charnley, 43, owner of Charnley's Home and Garden in Ulverston Road, Dalton, reopened the store in October following a huge refurbishment.

A mezzanine level was built to display a wide range of furniture along with other work which saw the enclosure of the central courtyard and the resurfacing of the car park.

However, Mr Charnley had no planning permission from Barrow Borough Council to complete any of the building work or to sell furniture on the premises - something which he claims he wasn't made aware of.

The council's planning committee will meet tomorrow to decide whether or not to seek enforcement action, which could see Mr Charnley have to pull down the entire refurbishment.

In a statement published in the wake of the controversy, Mr Charnley said that this has been "a huge shock" and that his whole family have been left "devastated" by the news.

He added: "We have put everything we have into the new Charnley’s and our aim has only ever been to offer something Dalton could be proud of and to provide something different for this area. We are a family-run business, we have been going for 20 years now and our heart is here.

"We have the utmost respect for planning regulations and this has been the case throughout this entire process - we only want to work in co-operation with Barrow Borough Council.

"We have been overwhelmed with phone calls, emails and even visits from local people giving us their support, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank them and our loyal staff sincerely – this isn’t just our business, this has long been a labour of love and their kind words mean the world to us."

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