South Cerney depot
Release date: 20 July 2015
Following independent legal advice, Cotswold District Council will now seek to obtain a Certificate of Lawful Use to operate a vehicle depot at South Cerney.
A detailed review of the salient issues has shown that the current occupant (SITA UK) has been using the whole site for the same purpose, and across the same site area, as required in the future for the Council’s waste service provider Ubico Ltd. This exceeds the terms of the original planning permission granted to SITA UK which only gave permission for part of the site to be used as a depot. However, the fact that the practice has been going on for over ten years means that the Council now only needs to obtain a Certificate of Lawful Use to enable Ubico to operate in the same way.
Commenting on this development, Cllr Sue Coakley, CDC’s Cabinet Member for Health, Environment and Communities, said:
“This information about the site only came to light very recently when Planning Officers were considering detailed matters regarding the previously submitted planning application. Because SITA has carried out operations beyond the remit of their planning application for over ten years, they are now immune from enforcement action as the extended operations have been established. We have received no complaints regarding SITA’s use of the site outside of their original planning permission and, as a result, we have had no cause to carry out any enforcement investigations which might have revealed this discrepancy.
“In normal circumstances, the Council’s Head of Legal Services would determine any Certificate of Lawful Use application. However, as we are the applicant, and in the interests of transparency, we will be referring the matter to an external independent solicitor who will be asked to review whether a certificate should be granted. The Head of Legal Services will then formally determine the application in line with the external independent advice.
“The Council would still need planning permission if we wished to establish a waste transfer station at the site as it has not previously been used for that purpose. I know that there has been public concern about this issue, and the relevant planning application was recently withdrawn so that we could do some additional work on the related business cases and the environmental issues before discussing them in more detail with local residents and the Parish Council. CDC would then consider whether or not to re-submit another planning application for a waste transfer facility.
“The work we expended on a planning application for the vehicle depot has not been in vain. The procedures involved – and the comments we have received through consulting the public – have identified some very useful issues that we can explore, as good neighbours, to build good relations with the public, including noise reduction measures, and the potential restriction of speed limits near the site.
“In light of the change in circumstances, we have been advised to withdraw the planning application for the vehicle depot, and we will make a formal decision on this matter in due course.”
For more information on Certificates of Lawful Use please:
- visit the Planning Portal website