Editor's pick: Mezzanine cash request ruled out of proportion

A claim by an Essex local authority that the installation of a mezzanine floor within a retail warehouse justifies a financial contribution of £56,200 has been rejected by an inspector who determined that it was not reasonable or proportionate.

The request was justified by the increased pressure on the highway network caused by the mezzanine. The council asserted that individual developments should make a proportionate contribution to off-site improvements, based on a former development corporation’s planning obligations strategy. The appellant stated that only 46 additional trips a day would be generated by the development and some of these would already be on the highway network.

The inspector felt that little consideration had been made to the link between a high-level strategy intended to fund growth in the area and small-scale schemes such as the appeal proposal. In his view, an assessment was required of the degree to which the scheme by itself would require off-site improvements directly related to its impact. Since the council had not adopted a Community Infrastructure Levy charging schedule, he held that the payment was unjustified.

Inspector: John Papworth; Written representations

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