Editor's pick: Alternative site shortage leads to limited extension of consent

The operator of a mineral aggregate depot in a port in west Sussex has been successful in extending the period of the use until 2018 due to a lack of alternative sites.

The present use had been permitted in 2000 and this had been extended until the end of 2015. However, the council opposed a further extension because it would prejudice its plans to regenerate the harbour and asserted the appellant had not demonstrated that no suitable alternative sites did not exist. Nor was it necessary to continue the use on the appeal site, the council alleged.

A committee report prepared by the council accepted that there was an on-going need for the wharf to be used for handling aggregates and no alternative sites had been identified. The council had granted permission for a major mixed use development on adjoining land, the inspector noted, and this could be commenced and possibly occupied by 2020. Since this included housing the continued minerals operation should be extended until 2018 only. Allowing it to 2020 as requested by the appellant would risk an adverse impact on the regeneration of the harbour and on the amenity of future residential occupiers. An extension of the use was therefore justified provided the appellant implemented a revised environmental management plan.

Inspector: S Papworth; Written representations

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