The site lay next to a small station on the Preston to Ormskirk railway line. The local authority, with the support of the county council and railway authority, was keen to secure improvements to the line including extra parking for passengers. The council said that the appeal scheme would use land needed for the park-and-ride facility.
The inspector noted that a feasibility study on the case for a park-and-ride facility would be funded in 2007-08 and no detailed plans had been produced showing the size and precise location of the car park. In any event, he added, alternative land appeared to be available outside the appeal site. Allowing the appeal would not prejudice longer-term improvements to the railway, he decided.
He granted the appellants their costs after ruling that the council had failed to demonstrate how the proposal would materially prejudice improvements to the railway and in particular its impact on the park-and-ride scheme.
The need for additional car parking had not been proven, he concluded.
DCS No: OT100-045-360; Inspector: Dannie Onn; Inquiry.