Peterborough council ordered to pay costs after bungalow planning appeal

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Peterborough City Council has been ordered to pay costs of £1,039 following an appeal over a decision to grant planning permission for a bungalow.

In February, the council gave permission for the property to be built at Moggswell Lane in Orton Longueville, however, an appeal was launched by the applicant due to one of the conditions imposed by the authority as part of the planning approval.

The condition stated that bungalow had to be a “single storey building with no habitable living accommodation above ground floor level”.

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Moreover, there was not allowed to be more than one bedroom.

Peterborough Town Hall in Bridge StreetPeterborough Town Hall in Bridge Street
Peterborough Town Hall in Bridge Street

The reason given for the condition being imposed was stated as: “In the interests of the development approved as well as to retain an acceptable level of amenity to surrounding neighbours.”

However, a written judgement by the Planning Inspectorate has overturned the condition with the council ordered to pay costs to the applicant.

The Inspectorate stated that by granting outline planning permission the council had “accepted that, in principle, a bungalow could be accommodated on the site without any material harm to the character and appearance of the area and neighbouring living conditions.

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“From what I saw on site, I find no reason to conclude differently.”

It was added that the condition was “unnecessary and should be removed”.

Addressing an application for costs to be awarded by the council to the applicant, it was stated: “I find that unreasonable behaviour resulting in unnecessary or wasted expense... has been demonstrated and that a full award of costs is justified.”

A Peterborough City Council spokeswoman said: “The appeal relating to a proposal for a new dwelling at 2 Moggswell Lane was determined by the Planning Inspectorate who allowed the appeal and awarded costs against the council.

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“The appeal was to remove a condition attached to the outline planning permission that sought to protect adjacent residents from overlooking and to limit the size of the proposed dwelling in order to protect the character and appearance of the area.

“First, the Planning Inspector found that the means of seeking to address these matters by a planning condition was unnecessary. She considered that they could only be fully understood when a reserved matters application is submitted. As an outline permission has been granted, this is only the first stage in the permission process and a reserved matters application will need to be considered by the council in due course.

“At this point the matters of concern that led to the condition being attached can be properly assessed.

“A second part of the condition sought to restrict the number of bedrooms to reflect the arguments put forward by the appellant at the committee meeting and to limit the size of the dwelling.

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“These were centred around the use of the dwelling for the care of the applicant’s father. The council’s reasons for doing so were considered unreasonable by the Planning Inspector as the application was for an independent dwelling.

“It is not disputed that this was unreasonable. The impact of the size of the dwelling, however, will be considered as part of the reserved matters application thereby ensuring that the impact on the character and appearance of the area is at an acceptable level.”

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