Housing secured on infilled former clay pit with costs

A development of up to 60 dwellings has been allowed along with works to transform a former clay pit in Leicestershire, with a partial award of costs being award in favour of both the appellant and the council.

The scheme involved importing 75,000m3 of soils, sub-soils and clay to enable part of the pit to be infilled before house construction began. In refusing permission contrary to the advice of its planning officers the council was concerned about the impact on local residents as a consequence of the infilling through noise from heavy vehicles and the use of plant and machinery on site.

The appellant had produced various noise reports, an inspector noted, which demonstrated that subject to conditions limiting the maximum noise levels, and with the relatively limited duration of the works, no unacceptable disturbance would arise. This would be coupled to a traffic management plan which would also maintain highway safety.

A partial award of costs was made in favour of the appellant for having to deal with flood risk. A counter award was made in favour of the council due to the late submission of an updated noise assessment which was produced during the hearing. This was a highly material document which should have been prepared at an earlier stage in the proceedings and certainly in advance of the hearing since it introduced fresh and substantial evidence. This required the council and objectors to consider the information and it prolonged the length of the hearing, the inspector held.

Inspector: Richard Clegg; Hearing

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