The two-hectare site comprised grazing land adjoining the service area. The inspector afforded great weight to the appellant’s transport evidence, which outlined the need for an extended lorry parking area. He recognised that none of the exceptions set out in paragraph 146 of the NPPF applied to the proposal. Since openness would not be preserved, he found, it was inherently inappropriate development.
He afforded moderate harm to the loss of openness arising from the proposal, given the transient nature of lorry parking. However, he afforded moderate weight to the need for the parking facility due to growth in HGV traffic nationally and regionally and the site’s suitable location for drivers to take a break, as supported by the Road Haulage Association's appeal correspondence.
The inspector placed substantial weight on a 2013 Department of Transport circular suggesting a need for 100 HGV spaces at the site rather than the 60 existing and on paragraph 107 of the NPPF, which highlights the importance of providing for overnight lorry parking. In the overall balance, he concluded that other considerations outweighed harm to the green belt and special circumstances existed to justify the extension.
Inspector: Mazer Aqbal; Written representations