DC Casebook: Commerical and Industrial - Car park held to clash with travel policy

An enforcement notice requiring the cessation of a parking use in Lancaster city centre has been upheld on the grounds that it undermines development plan objectives to reduce long-stay parking provision.

The local plan defined a central area in which long-stay parking was restricted. The appeal site lay beyond the defined area and the inspector agreed that on a strict interpretation it was not affected by the parking management policy. However, while agreeing that designation of firm and defensible boundaries should be supported, he ruled that in this case a straitjacket approach to policy application was inappropriate.

The appeal site adjoined an extensive area of central car parking that was generally available as long-term commuter parking within walking distance of the city centre. In the inspector's view, this was critical because the site related to the central area in functional terms and should be considered in the context of development plan policies to manage commuter parking.

Although the site was relatively small, he considered that allowing it to remain in use for long-stay parking would send the wrong message on the control and management of such facilities. Even though the site technically fell outside the area subject to parking management policies, he concluded that the underlying objective of encouraging alternative transport modes would be supported by dismissing the appeal.

DCS Number 100-058-311

Inspector Bob Watson; Hearing

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