Costs awarded for unnecessary appeal in light of forthcoming CIL adoption

77 dwellings on allocated land outside of a settlement in Rhondda were approved on the grounds of no adverse impact on highway safety and the free flow of traffic. Costs were awarded against the council for an unnecessary appeal and wasted expense for the appellant.

The proposal affected 3.3 hectares of scrubland between two existing developments on land allocated for housing in the local plan. There was no dispute in principle about the scheme and no objection from the Highways Authority, but the applicant had appealed against the insistence by the council of a transport tariff through a S106 Agreement, despite an imminent CIL being adopted. The inspector looked at the issue of highways safety and found that whilst there was local concern about the extra traffic created by the development on the highway network, the new development would not increase traffic on the network to any significant degree in his view. There were no fundamental reasons to refuse the development and as the council's CIL schedule had been adopted in the meantime, the S106 was not necessary either.

An application for costs was awarded against the council in this case for an unnecessary appeal incurring wasted expense for the applicant. The inspector held that the council knew from their own viability evidence that the CIL on residential schemes in this area would be zero and so to impose the need for a transport contribution was unreasonable. It was also unreasonable for the council to threaten to "dispose" of the application under the TCPO (Wales) 2012, resulting in the applicant having to appeal, as the application didn't meet the requirements set out in that document.

Inspector: Aidan McCooey; Hearing


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