Use rights fallback claim judged misleading

An inspector has turned down plans for a recycling centre at a former quarry in Kent after rejecting the owners' claim that the site could be used for commercial purposes if permission were refused.

Permissions had been granted in 1983 and 1987 for waste paper processing and storage. In 2004, an inspector determined that a mixed B2 industrial and B8 warehousing use was taking place, but this did not confer a lawful use for general industrial purposes.

The appellants pointed out that a local policy identified the site as suitable for B1 business and B2 industrial use and this had been taken into account when the council approved 272 homes on adjoining brownfield land.

Despite this, the inspector decided that the lawful mixed use was very restricted and would not encompass an unfettered B2 and B8 use. The fallback claim could thus be given only limited weight, he decided.

He felt that access arrangements for the waste use would have a significant impact on the setting of a conservation area, the tranquillity of an adjoining village and residents' amenity on the housing development, potentially undermining its viability.

Inspector: Terry Phillimore; Hearing

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