Client: Whitbread/ MacMullen Associates
Location: James Street, Bath
To provide evidence at inquiry to defend the application proposals and refute Bath and North East Somerset Council’s reasons for refusal for a 108 bedroom Premier Inn hotel.
A planning application for the hotel proposal was refused by the Council on the basis that the hotel lacked parking and would contribute to increased traffic congestion and noise/nuisance for residents within the city centre location.
Following the preparation of evidence which effectively demonstrated the likely operation of the proposals, the Inspector rejected the Council’s arguments and agreed that existing city centre public parking could accommodate additional overnight parking demand, at a time when existing public car parking is not at a premium.
It was also demonstrated through extensive survey information of comparable Premier Inn hotels that the extent of drop off and pick up activity would be less than the vehicular activity generated by the site’s current/previous use.
The Inspector rejected the Council’s arguments, particularly in the light of two recently approved hotels and others in the city centre which had no on-site parking. The Inspector added that the Council failed to back its arguments with ‘realistic and specific evidence’ and the LPA were therefore ordered to pay full costs because of its ‘unreasonable behaviour resulting in unnecessary expense.’