Oxford City Council: Pure Town Planning director Dan Wilden is pleased to have recently won a planning appeal on behalf of Enterprise Rent-A-Car for a new purpose-built car hire facility in Oxford.

The site is a former pair of old semi-detached houses now half used by Enterprise and half a vacant office premises. It lies in an area designed by as a “key protected employment site” in local planning policy. The proposal was to demolish the existing buildings and build a smaller single storey pavilion building surrounded by operational hard surface. The scheme was designed by Bournemouth-based LMA Architects.

The original application was turned down by Oxford City Council on grounds of impact on the character and appearance of the area and a reduction in employment floorspace. The Council argued that the loss of the existing building to be replaced by a smaller one would harm the character of the surroundings and would reduce employment.

The Inspector disagreed on both points finding that the existing buildings did not make the positive contribution to the character of the area which the Council claimed. She found that proposed building and the surrounding external parking area would both be entirely in keeping with the locality.

The Inspector accepted Dan’s argument that “floorspace and number of employees are not necessarily the only relevant factors to be considered” in assessing employment proposals and that, as directed by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), the Council needed to support business looking to expand and needed to apply policies flexibly. The Inspector concluded that the proposal would “not adversely affect the key protected employment site”. As such the Inspector allowed the appeal and granted consent for the proposal.

If you are looking to expand your business premises but the Council has turned it down, why not speak to Pure Town Planning to find out if we think you have a chance of success on appeal.