Council acted 'unreasonably' in rejecting plans for petrol station near Beverley and must pay developer's costs

A council has been ordered a developer’s legal costs after being found to act “unreasonably” when it rejected plans for a petrol station on the outskirts of Beverley.

The saga over the two petrol stations has been continuing for over two years  Credit: Google Maps
The saga over the two petrol stations has been continuing for over two years Credit: Google Maps

Planning inspector Clive Coyne has allowed an appeal by Lovel Capital Projects over the gas station and shop on a former factory site on Killingwoldgraves Lane just off the A1079, after it was refused by East Riding councillors.

It is the second time that a petrol station in the vicinity has been allowed permission on appeal in recent months.

A rival, BP Oil, was given planning permission last August for a petrol station on the other side of the roundabout just 200 yards away.

Lovel says it will start work on the petrol station and store in the New Year

Locals were concerned that Lovel’s plans, which had outline planning permission, but were coming back before councillors for final sign off for “reserved matters”, was bigger than what was originally agreed.

They feared the development would become a “destination in its own right” and put village shops in Bishop Burton, Walkington and Cherry Burton at risk.

Mr Coyne said the main issue was its impact on the appearance of the area. However he said hedgerows new and old would mitigate the visual impact and disagreed that it would undermine local shops.

He said East Riding Council’s officers had recommended approval, and noted that councillors did not make a site visit before deciding to go against the officers’ advice and refuse planning permission.

While he acknowledged it was within the councillors’ democratic remit to do so “it is clear from the guidance that such a decision should be clearly justified by evidence that supports it”.

He said the council had “behaved unreasonably by producing vague, generalised, or inaccurate assertions about the impact of the appeal proposal which are unsupported by any objective analysis.”

East Riding Council will now have to pay the developer the full costs of the appeal.

Read more: Hull trawler Kirkella may have to be sold after 'derisory' deal with NorwayLovel Capital Projects, which is part of Lovel Property Holdings Ltd, said it hopes to start work on the site early in the New Year.

Managing director Philip Lovel said: “We are delighted that the planning inspector has found in our favour after the unexpected refusal of the detail of our plans for the project.

“The whole process has resulted in unnecessary delays to the scheme but we are working hard to make up time and deliver a development which will bring significant benefits to the local area and the people who live there.”

Lovel initially secured planning permission in July 2020 to transform the brownfield site at the former home of Teckno Developments, a wallpaper and fabric pattern books manufacturer which was destroyed by fire in 2009. As well as a petrol station and convenience store, four business units, ranging from 1,600 sq ft to 11,500 sq ft, will also be developed on the 4.2 acre site.

The saga over the petrol stations dates back more than two years.

The plans by BP Oil also faced stiff opposition from parish councils as well as Beverley Civic Society, with objectors saying it would be a blight on the countryside.

It would include an M&S Simply Food, as well as a Wild Bean Cafe serving self-service coffee.

BP Oil was approached for comment.