Bus depot compromises green belt openness

Notwithstanding a claim that a new bus depot within the York green belt involved local transport infrastructure which was by definition appropriate to such a location, an inspector has decided that it would fail to maintain the openness of the area and the justification for the development was lacking.

The appellant relied on paragraph 90 of the national planning policy framework which advised that infrastructure projects were acceptable within a green belt, a claim disputed by the council who asserted that inadequate evidence for choosing the site had been provided. In response, the appellant argued that the site was centrally placed in relation to the routes which would be served and would reduce travel distances and carbon dioxide emissions.

An assessment undertaken by the appellant related only to distances covered by buses and excluded staff travel and the delivery of materials and services to the site, the inspector recorded. Since the site lay within a green belt the standard of evidence needed to justify the scheme was high, he held, and the lack of substantial information meant that he could not accept the claim that it was an appropriate form of development. The siting of up to 30 buses would by definition reduce the openness of the area. One of the proposed visibility splays was deficient by 20 per cent which the inspector held to be a significant failing and this also weighed against the scheme.

Inspector: Keith Turner; Written representations

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