Parking shortfall leads to hotel annexe refusal

Harm to highway safety arising from loss of part of an on-site car park has been cited as justification for refusing permission for an annexe to a hotel in a Norfolk town.

Under the scheme, an extra 28 bedrooms were planned at the expense of 21 parking bays. Overall, 105 parking spaces would be provided on-site to serve a 116-bed hotel with a linked pub-restaurant. The inspector noted that this fell considerably short of the adopted local plan’s recommended parking standards of at least one parking space per bedroom and one space per five square metres of pub-restaurant floorspace.

He went on to look at local conditions and supporting surveys to assess whether overflow parking on adjoining streets could cause problems to users of the adjoining highway. He decided that the hotel was too far from the town centre to be attractive to guests travelling by means other than the private car, particularly if travelling with luggage.

The highways authority had raised objections to the proposal, stating that recent parking surveys downplayed the demand for parking at the site at peak times compared to surveys undertaken when the hotel was previously extended in 2015. The inspector agreed that insufficiently vigorous or robust survey work had been carried out to clearly demonstrate that the reduced parking area would consistently operate within capacity during peak hours of demand.

On this basis, he opined, the proposal had real potential to lead to a considerable number of additional vehicles being parked on the street near the site during periods of high parking demand. This would promote difficulties for free and unimpeded traffic movement, he held. He concluded that the proposal conflicted with the local plan in so far as it required that the design of new development does not compromise highway safety and provides adequate parking. 

Inspector: Andrew Smith; Written representations

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