Although the scheme would lead to the loss of 27 parking spaces, the inspector took the view that this had to be balanced against the benefits of improving disabled visitors' accessibility to the town centre without using private cars. The loss of the spaces would have no noticeable impact on use of the remainder of the car park or on highway safety, he concluded.
The Environment Agency had recommended raising the slab level of the building by more than a metre to minimise flood risk. The inspector was concerned that this increase would create difficulties for disabled users in accessing the building. In light of PPS25's advice that schemes may proceed where the benefits outweigh likely harm in areas of low flood risk, he decided that improving access to the town centre for people with mobility difficulties was of overriding importance.
DCS Number 100-051-073
Inspector Mike Fox; Written representations.