London Green Belt Council

Green Belt appeal decisions

Car parks


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Updated 11 May 2007, this page includes various recent decisions on appeals against refusal of planning consent. Summarises of appeal decisions arising from refusal of planning consent are available at www.Planning,uk/dcs, with a copy of the decision letter also available for a fee.

 'SoS' = Secretary of State. 'DETR' is now ‘DCLG’ = Dept for Communities and Local Government.

Gatwick car park refused.  The proposal was to use vacant industrial land for parking and storing vehicles owned by customers of Gatwick Airport.  The Inspector decided this seasonal use materially harmed the openness of the GB.  Off-airport parking was contrary to development plan policies aimed at  encouraging the use of public transport by passengers.   DCS 100040069.  13.1.06

Heathrow park-and-ride refused in Met GB.  London Underground’s proposal at the Hatton Cross station would be an important means of transferring car users to the train.  However it would encroach into the countryside due to the extensive hard surfacing, lighting columns, street furniture and cars parked for much of the day and evening.  The site was in a defined public safety zone within which there was a general presumption against new and replacement development.  There would be no quiet period and the turning into the car park would be dangerous and unsatisfactory, materially affecting highway safety.  DCS 100041140.  10.3.06

Bristol airport parking refused.  A farm is currently used for 120 covered car parking spaces and 180 in the open air.  An enforcement order was upheld because it caused urban sprawl.  Even if parking was restricted to indoors it would still be inappropriate, but this would be difficult to achieve and impossible to enforce.  DCS 100039448.  25.11.05

Staverton airport car parking.  In Gloucs GB, the Inspector quashed one EO as invalid but upheld another because the parking area had not originally been built in connection with operational use of the airport.  The two car parks had been leased to building contractors operating a park & ride facility relating to construction of government buildings at Cheltenham.  On the first EO, the notice alleged a material change of use on only part of the unit, the use described still has to describe the whole unit., so it was flawed.  It could not be corrected without injustice to the appellant – Gloucestershire Airport Ltd.  On the second EO, the Inspector decided the use was not acceptable under GPDR.  The operator failed to consult the Local Planning Authority as required under class A.  The land had not been operationally associated with the airport at the time of being laid out.  No evidence was produced  that the car parks were necessary so there were no very special circumstances.  DCS 4921996.  Nov 2004.

Manchester airport parking allowed at nursery glasshouse.  It related to 8 bays of a 17-bay glasshouse at a nursery complex.  The building was reasonably permanent and in keeping with the surroundings.  The vehicles would be stored inside so it was not inappropriate in the green belt.  DCS 3495298.  April 2004.

Car park  lighting at care home harmful in Berks GB.  Six 3m high lamp posts in the car park at the front of the care home would harm the character of the area and residential amenity, and decrease the openness of the GB.  This undermined the objective of protecting the countryside from encroachment.   The appellant argued their 24-hour operational use necessitated lighting on Health and Safety grounds.  The Inspector was unconvinced that the nature and intensity of the proposed lighting was the best solution and other solutions should be explored.  DCS 39273108.  June 2004.

Football ground car park in Met GB cannot be used for airport parking -  Bishop Stortford Football Club was served with an enforcement order to stop a park and ride facility for Stansted airport.  The club argued that no such restriction was made when planning approval was given in 1996.   The Inspector decided that the car park was intended solely for football supporters use, and the park and ride was outside the scope of that permission.  There had been no examination of alternative sites, as required by the PPG.  The loss of income to the club was not a very special circumstance.  DCS 34976013.  Nov 2003.

Hildenborough rail station car park refused - The commuter car park in a large field next to the station would affect the openness of the GB and harm the character of the area, ruled the Inspector. Existing facilities were inadequate but the proposal was not part of a local transport plan and the lighting would erode the rural character of the area to an unacceptable degree. While the encouragement of rail use was an inmportant aspect of sustainability it did not outweigh the harm to the GB. Tonbridge & Malling BC 14 Oct 2002. DCS 34282917

Gatwick GB car park refused - A planning application was made for the continued use of a permanent travelling showman's yard to park 530 car plus a new application for 535 car spaces on another site. The Inspector refused permission for this GB site saying that there was a surplus of capacity. the High Court reversed this decision. The Court of Appeal agrred with the Inspector, being inappropriate in the GB with no very special circumstances given. There was a considerable amount of unused land at the airport. Hammond v SoSTLR 12 July 2002. Ref C/2002/0597

Park & Ride dismissed

Birmingham City Council wanted a 250 (& up to 500) car Park & Ride scheme on 2ha of green belt land in Bromsgrove DC. The SoS agreed with the Inspector and Bromsgrove and rejected it. PPG13 (transport) says P&R is an appropriate use of green belt land, if it met five criteria. Two criteria required a comprehensive assessment of alternative sites but this was lacking. Some alternatives had been discounted due to economic considerations of purchasing brownfield land or land with development potential. Another would have interchanged with rail services which would have been a more sustainable option according to the Inspector. Since sites outside the green belt were available this proposal would harm the openness of the green belt. Bromsgrove DC 24 Sept 2001. DCS No. 33665984.

Park and ride in green belt wins government backing

PPG13 (transport) published in March 2001 accepts that park and ride development is not inappropriate in the green belt provided it is the most sustainable option, that alternative sites have been assessed, and that it does not seriously harm green belt objectives. This reverses the wording of the October 1999 consultation draft.

Commuter parking refused at green belt station

the Inspector refused a 150 space car park adjacent to a Kent railway station. More informatiuon was required on need, pricing policy and alternatives in order to prove very special circumstances for building in the green belt. Although initially it had much to recommend it, the Inspector thought it would suck commuters in from a long way off, thereby increasing car journeys. Tonbridge & Malling DC 7 March 2001 -DCS No. 35128201

Football ground park park not suitable for 'park and ride'

Bishop Stortford Football Club were refused the extension and use of their car park as a park and ride facility. Permission for an extra 201 car spaces was approved subject to the times of use. The club wanted to use 187 spaces for park and ride with a bus service 6 days a week serving the town centre. The Inspector found that there had not been a proper survey of need, and its use for the football club, on Saturday afternoon, co-incided with a peak 'park and ride' period. The Inspector thoight there was a possible use for airport parking for Stansted since the appellant eferred to 24 hour 7 day security. He decided the extra parking and continuous parking would harm the green belt. East Herts DC. 11 Januray 2001. Ref - APP/J1915/A/00/1050235.

Park & Ride scheme rejected in green belt

Oxford County Council wanted a park&ride scheme with 1,000 car spoaces, 4,000 sqm business floorspace with 130 car spaces on green belt land in open countryside some 6 km north of Oxford. An employment development on adjoining land would include a 26m high grain silo. The Inspector agreed that the park& ride was in accord with national and local transport policies, but the traffic generated would harm road and environmental conditions in a nearby settlement. It was inappropriate in the green belt, reducing openness, consolidate existing sporadic development and lead to a coalescence between Oxford and the adjacent settlement. The was no evidence that it would decrease car mileage outside the city. The benefits of a park&ride and an office scheme were outweighed by the clear harm. REF - GOSE/103/003/OXON/001 on 17 Oct 2000.

Additional car parking approved in green belt to improve highway safety.

9 extra car parking spaces were approved at a BT telephone engineering centre in green belt near York. Initially the Inspector said it was inappropriate because the car parking would be separated from the centre by a large fence, thereby encroaching on the green belt. However he agreed that the very special circumstances were improved road safety and reduced on-street parking. ref - APP/C2741/A/00/1044904 - hearing 9 Oct 2000.

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