The main issues in the case related to the impact of the proposal on the character and appearance of the conservation area, the amenities of neighbouring occupiers and highway safety. A previous appeal on the site had been dismissed for different concerns, now resolved, and parking levels were accepted at that time as the then local plan set maximum targets and the emerging parking standards policy afforded little weight.
Regarding the first two issues, the inspector found a neutral effect from the proposal on the character and appearance of the conservation area and no material harm to the amenities of adjoining occupiers despite some loss of sunlight, daylight and outlook. However, with respect to highway concerns, the inspector noted the proposal only provided eight parking spaces against a policy requirement in the now adopted local plan of 18. Given the new policy was an evidence-based approach to parking requirements, the inspector stated there needed to be compelling reasons not to apply it. The inspector felt the proposal would materially increase the extent of on-street parking in the area which was already high, leading to parking stress and highway safety risks including hazardous reversing and pedestrian safety.
Inspector: J P Roberts; Written representations