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Council concedes challenge to grant of planning permission after treating highways and amenity impacts inconsistently

A district council has agreed to the quashing of its grant of planning permission for a change of use of a vacant car showroom to a retail unit with extensions, after admitting that it had treated highways impacts and amenity impacts inconsistently.

39 Essex Chambers said the claimant, Mr Haxby, had challenged the permission granted by Horsham District Council on the grounds that the local authority had failed to:

1. (i) have regard to an obviously material consideration, namely to assess and determine the application’s transport and highway safety impacts cumulatively with another application for a cafe on the same site

1. (ii) weigh the potential cumulative harm from both applications in the planning balance and

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2. provide any, or any adequate, reasons for its decision in the officer report.

The set said Horsham refused to concede on the grounds raised but instead conceded that it had made legal errors in that it had treated highways impacts and amenity impacts inconsistently. “Highways impacts had been considered on an individual basis but amenity issues had been considered on a cumulative basis.”

Mr Justice Dove quashed the permission by order on 5 May 2022.

Daniel Stedman Jones of 39 Essex Chambers acted on behalf of the successful claimant, Mr Haxby, instructed by Irwin Mitchell.

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