Against officer recommendation, the council had refused permission, reasoning the site of a former plant nursery contributed to the rural setting of the village. In the inspector’s opinion, in reaching this judgement the council had failed to properly take into account the current use and appearance of the site or extant planning permission for residential development in the vicinity which would create a continuous built-up frontage between the site and the village. The inspector found the scheme to be compliant with local plan policy support for small scale employment development on the edge of key service villages.
The council had also refused permission on highway grounds. However, the inspector found it unlikely that HGVs would use a weight restricted section of road through the village given an alternative more convenient route to the village bypass, and adequate visibility splays could be achieved within site ownership. He awarded costs against the council for acting unreasonably in the absence of evidence to support their assertions and for failing to use a suitable condition to require submission and approval of a plan showing the required splay. He did not award costs in respect of the effect on area character as this was a matter of judgement.
Inspector: Paul Singleton; Written representations