Killian Garvey, acting for Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council, secured a dismissal of an appeal brought by Moto Hospitality Limited pertaining to a Motorway Service Area.
The application had originally been recommended for approval by officers, but the Council’s planning committee resolved to refuse planning permission.
At appeal, the Appellants argued that their application for a Motorway Service Area qualified as ‘local transport infrastructure’ and thus was not appropriate development in the Green Belt – in accordance with paragraph 146(c) of the NPPF.
In the alternative, the Appellants argued that there was a pressing need for a Motorway Service Area when having regard to the guidance within Circular 02/2013, which constituted very special circumstances that justified a development in the Green Belt.
The Inspector accepted the Council’s submissions that:
(i) the Appellants had misinterpreted national policy concerning Green Belt policy; and
(ii) the Appellants had misinterpreted the Circular regarding need, such that there was no pressing need for a Motorway Service Area
Inspector Campbell recommended that permission be refused, which the Secretary of State agreed with.
A highlight of the inquiry was the fact that, just as one witness started to discuss impacts from lighting, the lights in the entire building the inquiry was held in turned off owing to a power fault.
A copy of the appeal decision can be found here