The Council refused the application on the basis that there was insufficient provision for turning within the site so as to enable vehicles to enter and leave in forward gear. The Council considered that this would lead to reversing manoeuvres within the highway to the detriment of traffic flow and highway safety. However, no detailed evidence or analysis was provided to substantiate that this arrangement would significantly affect traffic flow or prejudice highway safety. Notably, this reason for refusal contradicts the view of the Highway Authority, without any assessment to justify this.
NPPG lists examples of the behaviour that may give rise to a substantive award of costs against a local planning authority. These include: “failure to produce evidence to substantiate each reason for refusal on appeal”, and “vague, generalised or inaccurate assertions about a proposal’s impact, which are unsupported by any objective analysis”. For the reasons set out above, the Council was considered to clearly fail to substantiate or justify its reason for refusal. In these circumstances, extra costs were incurred, and an award of costs in these specific respects was justified.