Following a 10 day Inquiry which ran over the course of four months this year Planning Inspector Katie Pearless Dip Arch RIBA dismissed Crouchland Biogas’ three appeals. In Plaistow & Ifold Parish Council -v- West Sussex District Council : Site at Crouchland Farm, Kirdford, Billinghshurst, Victoria Hutton represented the successful Parish Councils of Plaistow & Ifold and Kirdford.
The appeals hinged upon the lawfulness of the Appellant’s stated ‘fallback position’ and the likelihood that it would be implemented were the appeals to be dismissed. The Appellant argued that this fallback would result in more harmful planning impacts, particularly as a result of increased vehicle movements on local roads. After hearing a considerable amount of evidence and submissions on this issue, the Inspector agreed with the Councils (County, District and Parish) that the fallback position was not authorised by the extant planning consents and also that there was considerable uncertainty as to whether it would be implemented even if it were lawful. Having reached these key conclusions, the Inspector found that the impacts of the commercial anaerobic digestion facility would result in a number of breaches of the development plan and that material considerations did not indicate that permission should be granted notwithstanding those breaches. As such, she dismissed the appeals.