Killian Garvey, acting for Hinton Properties (Grovefield Way) Ltd, has assisted with securing planning permission for a commercial office business park with a Costa Coffee retail and drive-thru unit, an Aldi and a day nursery.

Gary Grant acted for Cheltenham Borough Council in defending the decision of the Members made against the advice of the Officers.

The permission comes after nearly two years of litigation.

The original dispute with the Council was in relation to the extent of a phasing condition. The Council wanted the commercial offices to be constructed prior to the retail units. The rationale for this was that the land was released from the Green Belt for a Business Park. Hinton argued, however, that this would compromise the deliverability of the scheme. This matter was eventually resolved to the satisfaction of the Council’s officers, who recommended approval to the members of the planning committee. However, the Council’s members rejected that recommendation and refused permission.

The Council refusal was appealed (Appeal A). Whilst this appeal was ongoing, a revised scheme was submitted to the Council (Appeal B). The revised scheme was similarly refused by the Council, despite another recommendation for approval by officers.

An inquiry was held in January 2019 in respect to Appeals A and B where Killian Garvey acted for Hinton and Gary Grant acted for the Council.

The inspector determining the appeals granted Appeal B and refused Appeal A on the grounds that the design was unacceptable. The Inspector made a partial award of costs against the Council in respect to Appeal A. However, the Inspector imposed a phasing condition on Appeal B, which the developer had resisted owing to the deliverability issues it would cause.

This led to the developer challenging the refusal of Appeal A in the Courts. The inspector had refused permission owing to design issues but had failed to address the alternative argument that the tilted balance was engaged. The Secretary of State consented to judgment, which led to Appeal A needing to be redetermined.

In December 2019 a hearing was held in respect to Appeal A. Again, Killian Garvey acted for Hinton and Gary Grant acted for the Council.

The Inspector on this occasion determined that the design of the scheme was acceptable and granted permission. In doing so, the Inspector accepted a case based on further evidence that the phasing condition sought by the Council would compromise the scheme and thus no such condition was attached to the permission.

View the appeal decision here. 


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