Thursday, 10 February 2011

Lok 'n' Store - Revisited

Yesterday was the latest saga in the long running Lok 'n' Store development on the Kennet opposite Elgar Road. The original application had run out of time and the developers had asked for an extension.

One of the difficulties with planning is that quite often a development meets all the applicable policies and regardless of whether you think it's appropriate, quite often you have to agree to something you wouldn't normally want to see built. In this case a previous planning committee had unanimously voted against the scheme but this was overturned by a planning enquiry. The problem is that if you get it wrong the council has to pony up costs which can be significant.

For me the crucial test was whether there had been any material change since the planning enquiry gave the go ahead. The answer had to be a 'yes' as the council now has a policy (CS15) that would require density amongst other things, to be taken into account. This wasn't considered by the inspector as at the time the council had no policy.

So for now the application for an extension looks to be heading for refusal.

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