Agenda item

20/04446/ELUD - Land at Junction with South Eden Park Road and Bucknall Way, Beckenham




Description of application – Use of the land circled in red on drawing 15124 S101B for the storage of cars or for the parking of cars or as a car park in association with car dealerships (LAWFUL DEVELOPMENT CERTIFICATE – EXISTING).


The Head of Development Management reported that this was identical to a previous application determined in February 2020 but for the inclusion of legal advice obtained by the applicant which argued that the Council did not properly apply the law to the facts on that application. The Council did grant the previous Lawful Development Certificate with modifications which meant the Council did not agree that all of the land that the applicant had sought the Certificate for could be certified, so a smaller area of the site was granted. The applicant was now asking the Council to reconsider its previous decision and argued that the Certificate should be granted for the entire site as submitted. The application is now the subject of an appeal against non-determination and having considered the application and taken legal advice, the officer view is that the previous assessment remained sound and were the Council able to determine the application, the recommendation would again be to grant the Certificate with modification for a reduced portion of the site. However, as there was an appeal, the officer recommendation was that Members resolve to contest on the basis that the use was not considered to have taken place across the entirety of the site.


Committee Member and Ward Member Councillor Dean, advised that cars had been parking on the grassed area for more than 10 years and enforcement action had never been taken. As a result, the Council would probably lose if the appeal was contested. The applicant already had permission to build over 140 properties on the site and although work had started, the development had been held up due to negotiations on one of the conditions. The Council had lost every appeal submitted by this particular developer at huge cost to the Authority. It was likely that the Council would lose this appeal and the site would be fully developed in the future. Councillor Dean moved not to contest the appeal.


The Head of Development Management confirmed that Counsel opinion had been sought on the previous decision and how to approach this particular scenario. That advice was reflected in the report.


The Legal Officer reported that advice from a QC had also been sought. The QC had seen the report in its draft stage and had supported the conclusion.


The Chairman moved to contest the appeal. Councillor Dykes seconded the motion.


Members having considered the report and objections, RESOLVED TO CONTEST THE APPEAL as recommended, for the reason set out in the report of the Assistant Director, Planning.

Supporting documents: