Successful appeal for fitness business

Yesterday, PINS granted planning permission for a mixed residential and business use (fitness/bootcamp) at April Cottage in Almondsbury. South Gloucestershire Council had refused the planning application on highways grounds but that decision was reversed by the Planning Inspector.

The Council had raised concerns about on-street parking that could result from the fitness/bootcamp business taking place at April Cottage. The Inspector agreed that the proposed use could result in on-street parking and would increase the opportunity for conflict between vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians but stated that the low number of vehicle movements would mean that this would not be materially harmful.

Importantly, the Inspector stated that "there is generally good intervisibility between pedestrians and vehicles, allowing all road users plenty of time to respond accordingly". This pragmatic view from an Inspector is likely to prove useful in future appeals. In addition, the Inspector noted that as the access road was a cul-de-sac it is likely that all road users "will already be familiar with the road conditions and will be proceeding appropriately to the circumstances".

Whereas this is a clear victory for pragmatism over rigid enforcement of highway guidance, the Inspector was very clear that proposed development was compliant with the South Gloucestershire Local Plan (PSP11) and paragraph 111 of the NPPF.


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