DC Casebook: Transport development - Temporary car park wins permission

An inspector has granted permission for the use of a cleared site in a Merseyside regeneration area as a car park for two years, deciding that it would not harm the area's appearance or vitality.

The inspector acknowledged that the area showed clear evidence of the success of various local authority initiatives in the shape of a number of renovated buildings, properties under refurbishment and new development. He also accepted the appellant's commitment to the area, evidenced by the details of various projects. In this context, he did not doubt the appellant's long-term intention to develop the car park area.

However, he also recognised concerns over the present economic situation in the building industry, reflected by a large number of vacant properties in the locality. He acknowledged that a temporary car park would add little to the area's overall ambience. However, he considered that such use was preferable to the land lying unused and possibly becoming subject to misuse and antisocial activities.

The inspector decided that continued use of the site as a temporary car park would not be unacceptably harmful to the appearance and general vitality of the surrounding area. He found a condition suggested by the council requiring submission of details of an appropriate decorative hoarding scheme to be ambiguous. Screening could well attract antisocial uses in its own right, he reasoned.

DCS Number 100-064-239

Inspector Roger Brown; Written representations

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