Permission for Mini in Stratford upon Avon
Tyler Parkes is delighted to have obtained detailed planning permission for new development at Stratford Mini’s car dealership, which is located in the Green Belt on the main Stratford Road, just north of the town.
The development consists of an extension to the existing main dealership building to include additional offices and a new E-Charging and Electric Programming Bay; the relocation of the existing jet-wash area and preparation bay; and the creation of a formalised, surfaced display area for vehicles to the front of the site, replacing a grassed area where cars had previously been displayed.
The original extension to the building was a smaller one, for offices only, which was accepted to not be ‘inappropriate’ development in the Green Belt, but the planners argued that the other proposals, for a detached programming bay in the rear yard area and the surfaced car parking/display area to the front were inappropriate development, and that the latter would also cause harm to the openness of the Green Belt and the visual character of the area.
We discussed the proposals with the planners to seek to address their objections.
Green Belt policy allows the reasonable extension of existing buildings, but not new ones, so the solution was to change the plans by incorporating the bay within an enlarged extension; that objection was thus overcome.
In terms of the issue of openness, we submitted a detailed argument, analysing recent appeal decisions and case law to demonstrate that the development would not have a significant visual impact over and above that of the existing development, that it would therefore preserve openness and would not therefore be inappropriate development.
As regards visual impact the plans were amended to slightly reduce the extent of the surfaced area, provide ‘Grasscrete’ surfacing and additional planting, such that the visual amenity would actually be enhanced.
The planners accepted all these submissions and planning permission was granted on 28th January.