Subjective issues defend council on costs claim

A Kent council has avoided a costs award over its refusal of permission to convert a pub to a McDonald's, with an inspector deciding that members had provided adequate evidence to justify rejecting officers' advice.

Councillors were concerned that increased traffic would undermine residents' amenity due to noise, harm highway safety and undermine the vitality and viability of a neighbourhood shopping centre. But the inspector accepted the appellant's analysis on these matters.

On the costs issue, she recognised that officers had recommended approval but found that the scheme raised subjective planning issues. She noted that the restaurant would be open for longer hours than the pub, which was already a source of noise and disturbance. Members had shown that their other concerns were relevant matters founded on development plan policies, she judged.

Inspector: Rebecca Phillips; Inquiry


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