Generalised assertions of car park impact justify costs award

The University of Southampton secured planning permission for a surface level car park as well as a full award of costs in its favour against the local authority.

The main issue focused upon the effect of the scheme on local residents, the car parking being planned on part of one of the university’s campuses. A total of 130 spaces would be built along with additional landscaping, and the appellant submitted information on noise and air quality. However, the council maintained its objections given the proximity of residential properties and the fact that it would be open 24 hours.
In examining the evidence the inspector noted that the council’s environmental health officer was satisfied that no adverse impacts would arise either in terms of noise or the effect on air quality. While the council was not bound to accept the technical evidence of its officers, it was required to provide some evidence in support of its case. Though development plan policies were clearly relevant, the council’s case amounted to little more that generalised or inaccurate assertions, the inspector held, and made a full award of costs in favour of the appellant.
Inspector: Rory Macleod; Written representations

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