Planning permission for a mixed-use development comprising retail, business use and a restaurant was granted on appeal with full costs in April 2013. The permission replaced an existing planning permission granted in 2009.
The Inspector considered that special justification would be required to refuse an application viewed to be of an acceptable design in 2009. Local plan policy remained consistent with relevant guidance in the National Planning Policy Framework.
Minor amendments to layout in the interest of nature conservation were justified to reflect changing circumstances and an improved knowledge relevant to the riverside habitats.
The Inspector concluded that taking into account the guidance ‘Greater Flexibility for Planning Permissions’ there had been no change in development plan policies and other material considerations since the grant of the extant planning permission to justify the refusal. With regard to the costs award, he concluded that the Council acted unreasonably in this instance in giving rise to a wholly unnecessary appeal.
The appeal decision, referenc is available to view on the Planning Portal.