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Chester Council Hit With 25k Bill

Posted by Richard Ward

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

A student accommodation development that was granted planning permission on appeal has cost the taxpayer £25,000 in legal fees.

Last year Cheshire West and Chester Council unanimously refused permission for an eight storey 376-bed development on a railway station car park in Hoole Way.

However, this decision went against the recommendation of officers and PJ Properties Ltd was granted planning permission by the inspector Andrew McGlone following an appeal in December last year.

Mr McGlone also ordered that the council must pay the company's appeal costs which came to £25k.

Although planning committee member Jill Houlbrook told the inquiry the student scheme would 'stick out like a sore thumb' the inspector disagreed.

He also dismissed concerns that the scale of the building would negatively impact the living conditions of neighbours, citing an office scheme previously granted permission on the same site that was never developed.

Mr McGlone said: "In my judgement, even though the proposed building would be next to low-rise residential properties, it would be in keeping with the character and appearance of the area which has a blend of different scaled development, due to its design, height, mass and scale. I do not consider that the building would be incongruous and dominant."