House to Hotel and Costs Award

On 25th April 2009, our client contacted Planning Appeals Limited regarding his refusal of planning permission to convert a large Wiltshire house to a small hotel. Many of the immediate neighbours had objected to the conversion claiming possible light, noise and traffic pollution.

Planning Appeals Limited noticed that the development was recommended for approval by the Planning Officers but the Planning Committee had ruled against their advisors and rejected the proposal stating reasons that mostly supported the objections raised by the neighbouring residents. In our opinion, the reasons for refusal were unsubstantial.

As the development had been earmarked for approval PAL considered that the Council, with no substantiated reason for not approving the change of use, had behaved unreasonably and recommended to our client that he also apply for costs. 

The Inspector granted the appeal on 27th October 2009 and stated  ...“I have found that, subject to the imposition of appropriate conditions, no material harm would arise from the proposal and for that reason the appeal succeeds. I have taken into account all other matters raised in the representations…”

The Inspector also granted a full costs award stating…”I acknowledge that in this case there was vociferous local opposition to the proposal but it is made clear at paragraph B21 that this is not in itself a reason for withholding permission. Such opposition must be founded on valid planning reasons supported by substantial evidence”.

Appeal Decision APP/Y3940/A/09/210598052