The long established ice cream business was extremely popular, especially during hot, sunny days and as a result visitors by car were causing parking problems on the nearby highway. The owner of the business thought that the use of land to the rear of his business premises could be used as a car park, which might help the car parking issues. Support was obtained from some local Councillors as they recognised the car park proposal could help address some of the issues. Before the application was submitted the Council's highway team double yellow lined part of the highway resulting in more vehicles being displaced in the village.
The planning application recognised that the use of land as a car park and any associated engineering works in the Green Belt was considered to be inappropriate development in the Green Belt. In such instances paragraph 88 allows the planning authority to consider whether the harm by reason of inappropriateness, and any other harm, be clearly outweighed by other considerations. If so, would this amount to the very special circumstances required to justify the proposal.
Very special circumstances were put forward including the fact that the car park would form part of a strategy to solve the car parking issues in the area. In addition, the car park will help to support a local tourist related business and the fre car park will allow people to access sport and recreation in the countryside.
The Members of the Planning Committee accepted the very special circumstances, and granted planning consent contrary to officer's advice.
The car park is highly successful and provides much needed car parking for customers.