News just in: a few weeks ago, Highfield residents and myself defended a planning decision concerning 16, Stapleton Road. The issue at stake was whether parking permits should be allowed for the flats. The application had been rejected, against the advice of officers, because the original application had envisaged a car-free development and this would clearly undermine that. At the appeal, the developer’s agent not only argued vehemently against the decision but also caused for the Council to pay costs to the developer for having acted unfairly.
The inspector’s decision has come through today: no costs against the Council and, what’s more, the appeal has been dismissed.
In reality, this is a small issue but an important decision. If it had gone the other way, it would have made it all the harder to be able to ensure that future small developments were car-free and thus reduced the number of vehicles in our area. That’s not to say there are not problems with car-free developments, with tenants often not realising they are not supposed to have a car and getting understandably upset when they are belatedly told that. But that’s not a reason not to try to make such a system work — and it’s very good news to have the inspector agree with us. I’d like to thank the residents of Stapleton Road who worked with Stephen, Ruth and myself to get this result: well done!