Flood risk sinks car park scheme

Plans to construct a much-needed private car park for residents on allotments in a Wiltshire town failed to win the approval of an inspector.

The main issue concerned the location of the site within a functional flood plain. The inspector did not agree with the interpretation made by the council and supported by the Environment Agency that as the car park was associated with a residential use, it should be classed as a ‘more vulnerable’ development under the PPG classification. He went on to note that even ‘less vulnerable’ development should not be permitted in flood zone 3b and in functional floodplain areas, where water has to flow or be stored in times of flood, most development is deemed to be inappropriate. He found conflict with flood risk policies.

On other issues, the inspector found only very limited harm to the conservation area from the urbanising effect of hard surfacing and lighting, and this outweighed by the public benefit of addressing local parking pressures. Loss of green infrastructure without compensatory provision and impact on neighbour living conditions added weight to his decision to dismiss the appeal primarily on flood risk grounds.

Inspector: Philip Staddon; Written representations

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