Council will not have to pay costs after decision to reject Maltby flat extension is overturned

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A government planning inspector has ruled that Rotherham Council will not have to pay costs to an applicant whose bid to extend a block of flats was rejected by the authority.

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council rejected proposals to raise Phoenix Court on Blyth Road, Maltby, from two to three storeys, taking the building from nine to 13 apartments in May 2023.

A previous application for a smaller upward extension at the Victorian former doctors’ surgery was turned down by the council and dismissed on appeal in 2021.

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The applicant appealed the latest decision, and applied for costs to be paid by RMBC.

Council will not have to pay costs after decision to reject Maltby flat extension is overturnedCouncil will not have to pay costs after decision to reject Maltby flat extension is overturned
Council will not have to pay costs after decision to reject Maltby flat extension is overturned

The government’s planning inspectorate overturned the council’s decision, and allowed the applicant to go ahead with amended plans, which will ‘replicate the architecture of the existing building’.

The council had rejected the plans, because they would be ‘detrimental to the character of this historic building’, and would be ‘significantly harmful to the character and appearance of the area’.

However, the planning inspector overturned this decision in March, saying that the proposal ‘would not lead to a harmful loss of visual connectivity with the surrounding countryside’, and was ‘satisfied that the proposal would not lead to parking congestion or pose a risk to highway safety.’

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A cost report added: “The council has provided evidence to support its reason for refusal. Based on the information before me, I do not consider that the council has acted unreasonably in these respects.

“I therefore find that unreasonable behaviour resulting in unnecessary or wasted expense has not been demonstrated and an award of costs is not justified.”