NCH 1, New Horizons Court, Brentford

These cases both concerned applications for change of use under the provisions of Schedule 2, Part 3, Class O of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) to enable the residential conversion of four office buildings at New Horizons Court on the A4, Great West Road in Brentford.

Despite the submission of Transport Statements in support of the applications prepared by Transport Planning Associates, the London Borough of Hounslow had determined that prior approval of the Council was required “and refused due to the transport and highways impact of the change of use of the buildings“.

The Inspector determined that the main issue for both appeals was “the effect on transport and highways” and there remained a fundamental difference of opinion and approach between our director Rupert Lyons’ evidence to the Hearing, and that of the Council and Transport for London.

In acknowledging those differences of approach, the Inspector determined that on the Council’s own evidence the proposals would not result in a significant increase in vehicle movements on the road network and she found that:

at worst there would be no significant change in the number of car borne trips to and from the site, and nothing therefore to add cumulatively to the traffic that may be added to local roads by other consented but as yet unimplemented schemes.  Indeed there is stronger evidence to indicate that the proposed developments would lead to a reduction in the number of car borne trips.”

On the basis of that and other evidence relating to the accessibility of the site, the Inspector concluded that “the proposals would have no significant adverse transport or highways impacts“.  Further, she found “no conflict with paragraph 32 of the National Planning Policy Framework” which states that development should only be prevented or refused on transport grounds where the residual cumulative impacts of development are severe.

Both appeals were allowed and approval granted subject to conditions relating to the provision of car parking and a Car Park Management Plan, the provision of cycle parking, and the implementation of a Travel Plan (Appeal Decision).