Agenda item

Planning Application: 18/00900/S73A - Unit 17 Lopen Business Park, Mill Lane, Lopen


Application Proposal: Application to vary condition 1 and remove condition 2 of appeal decision 3149762 (25/10/2016) to allow unrestricted B8 use (storage / distribution)


The Planning Officer introduced the application and outlined the history of the site.  He noted the building was granted permission on appeal by the planning inspector for a self-storage business use only.  The appeal was allowed using TRICS vehicle movement data which predicted 16 vehicle movements per day to and from the site and 1 HGV movement.  A sensitivity test conducted by the applicants for the unrestricted B8 use had predicted an additional 6 vehicle movements per day which would be 22 in total.  Taking this into account, with the NPPF approach to Highway Safety and the Planning Inspectors evidence at that time, officers concluded the additional vehicle movements generated would not be so severe and so recommended approval of the application with conditions.


In response to questions from Members, the Planning Officer and the Highway Consultant advised:-


·         The building had been 80% complete when the owners appealed the enforcement notice requiring demolition of the building. 

·         The Highway definition of severe impact upon traffic was not defined but there were a number of planning appeals where it was cited.  16 vehicle movements during a whole day was not an intensive use.

·         There were one or two places where vehicles could pass in Mill Lane and visibility was deficient which the planning inspector had acknowledged.

·         It was difficult to control a set number vehicle movements if this was a condition of approval.  The applicants had stated the traffic would be no greater than that of the earlier application/appeal decision.

·         There was a self-storage business in the business park but the subject building had not been used for self-storage.


The Committee were addressed by one Lopen resident in opposition to the application.  Their comments included:-


·         There was a disappointing history of non-compliance at the site.

·         The appeal had been allowed for self storage only and only two years later they were seeking to change this.

·         There was a good reason why there was a 7.5 tonne weight limit through Lopen. 

·         Lopen Parish Council argued clearly that there were breaches of planning conditions.


The Committee were addressed by the Agent for the applicant.  Their comments included:-


·         Conditions had been imposed by the appeal inspector but since then circumstances had changed.

·         The building was on an established park and pre-application advice had been sought.

·         There would be no severe highways impact and the applicants had no issue with the conditions proposed by officers.


In response to further questions from Members, the Highway Consultant advised:-


·         The 7.5 tonne weight limit did not apply to vehicles requiring access.

·         The TRICS traffic assessment before the planning inspector was based upon self-storage use and it was assessed at 16 vehicle movements per day.  A TRICS assessment on B8 business use was also assessed at the same 16 vehicle movements per day.


During discussion, Members expressed concern at the number of vehicle movements along a narrow access lane and the limited visibility when turning onto the main road. 


The Senior Planning Adviser stressed that the business was already operating from the site and there was no evidence of greater traffic problems and no reported accidents to date.  He suggested the imposition of an additional condition to monitor vehicle movements for a 3 year period to allay Members concerns and to ensure highway safety.  The monitoring would be done by the applicant and it would give them the opportunity to gather proof their business did not cause traffic accidents or cause highway safety issues. 


It was proposed and seconded to approve the application with the additional condition to monitor vehicle movements and on being put to the vote, was carried (voting: 6 in favour, 4 against, 0 abstentions).



That Planning Application: 18/00900/S73A be APPROVED as per the officers recommendation subject to following:




The proposal, by reason of its use, predicted traffic generation size, design, materials and location, represents a development that would respect the character of the area and would preserve the setting of the nearby listed building. The proposal would cause no adverse impact on neighbour amenity or highway safety in accordance with the aims and objectives of Policies EQ2 and TA5 of the South Somerset Local Plan (2006-2028).




01.       Notwithstanding the time limits given to implement planning permission as prescribed by Sections 91 and 92 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended), this permission (being granted under section 73A of the Act in respect of development already carried out) shall have effect from April 2018.


Reason: To comply with Section 73A of the Act.


02.       The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved plans: DSGN0048_LP01; DSGN0048_SP01 only.


Reason: For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of proper planning.


03.       The building shall be used for storage and distribution (use class B8) and for no other purpose (including any other purpose in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) (or in any provision equivalent to that Class in any statutory instrument revoking and re-enacting that Order with or without modification).


Reason: In the interests of highway safety to accord with Policy TA5 of the South Somerset Local Plan (2006-2028).


04.       Notwithstanding the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 (or any order revoking and re-enacting that Order with or without modification) there shall be no permitted change of use of the building under the said Order from B8 use.


Reason: In the interests of highway safety to accord with Policy TA5 of the South Somerset Local Plan (2006-2028).


05.       The area allocated for parking on Drawing No. DSGN0048_SP01 shall be provided before the building is first brought into use and it shall be kept clear of obstruction and not used thereafter other than for the parking and turning of vehicles in connection with the development hereby permitted.


Reason: In the interests of highway safety to accord with Policy TA6 of the South Somerset Local Plan (2006-2028).


Plus an additional condition to monitor vehicle movements for a 3 year period.



(Voting: 6 in favour, 4 against, 0 abstentions)

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