Wednesday 21st February 2024,
North Yorks Enquirer

‘Death Trap’ Garage Planning Stalled

Guest Author ANDY STRANGEWAY (pictured above) has published his views on the ongoing litany of procrastination and apparent incompetence behind a stalled Planning Application which commenced with Hambleton District Council (HDC) and has now transferred to North Yorkshire Council (NYC). Notwithstanding some embarrassing procedural improprieties, all credit is due to the openness and transparency of NYC Officers Karl BATTERSBY, Mark RUSSELL and Trevor WATSON for ensuring that all related correspondence was freely  Cc:’d to the Enquirer.

Over to Andy . . .

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‘Death Trap’ Garage Planning Stalled

In 2019, I became aware that Hambleton District Council (HDC) had introduced a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) to ban overnight camping in vehicles at Leeming Bar. As this ban was unenforceable, for numerous reasons, including the fact that “overnight” is not defined in law, I challenged the PSPO with direct action by camping overnight in my vehicle at Leeming Bar.

HDC, which ceased to exist on 31 March 2023, wisely never issued me with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN).

But their Chief Executive, Justin Ives, did not appreciate my direct action and it was suggested to me that he was spitting his dummy out.

This inspired a simple photoon.

Mr Robin Wilson owns commercial sites, including the former site for the Harper’s Fish ‘n’ Chip shop on the A19 at Shipton-by-Beningborough. The neighbouring site is Brookes Garage.

In August 2020, Mr Wilson did not appreciate the failure of Justin to take appropriate action with the Brookes Garage site. Upon simple research, Mr Wilson found the now infamous “Justin spitting out dummy” photoon. Following this, he contacted me to seek assistance with the challenge he was facing with the neighbouring site and the failure of HDC to address the issues raised.

I agreed to become Mr Wilson’s Consultant. Mr Wilson became my Client. My first action was to review all communications, including past Planning Applications and communication between legal representatives. I was shocked by what I uncovered.

The Plans and Application that Brookes Garage had submitted for the 2013 Application included part of my Client’s site. Brookes Garage incorrectly claimed that they owned or leased part of my Client’s site.

This is untrue.

This should have made the Application null and void. HDC should have rejected the Application, but instead, they approved it. At the time, Robin was in New Zealand on business.

Planning History

  1. February 2013 – Granted (despite incorrect Plans and Application form)
  2. October 2013 – Granted (despite incorrect Plans and Application form)
  3. July 2020 – Refused
  4. May 2021 – Granted (despite HDC Planning being in knowledge of incorrect Plans) – quashed by Judicial Review November 2021.
  5. May 2021 – Inspectorate – Appeal Dismissed (Applicant appealed conditions of October 2013 Application)
  6. November 2021 – Judicial Review –  Upheld (this quashed the May 2021 Application and, in effect, quashed the February 2013 and October 2013 Applications)
  7. March 2023 – Advertisement Consent – Withdrawn by the Applicant (NYC Highways falsely claimed that the TSRGD  is not relevant to this application)
  8. March 2023 – Postponed by HDC Planning
  9. May 2023 – Postponed by North Yorkshire Council (NYC) Planning

In effect, the above demonstrates that there has been No Planning Consent for Brookes Garage for 10 years. And yet HDC failed to take enforcement action. The operation of Brookes Garage has always relied upon using my Client’s land to conduct its business. Without this, the site is clearly an overdevelopment.

The planning history confirms that all Applications granted have subsequently been overturned.

Since the Inspectorate decision and Judicial Review, there has been a constant stream of postponements and withdrawal of Applications.

The planning history strongly suggests HDC Planning and North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) Highways were at best incompetent, at worst, corrupt.

Will NYC now remedy the situation, or must we wait for someone to be killed?

Install Bollards

I became aware that not only was Brookes Garage claiming to own my Client’s land, but their customers and those delivering to Brookes Garage regularly traversed my Client’s land. On account of this, I advised my Client to robustly defend his boundary with the use of concrete bollards.

For the most recent Application, the Applicant has still failed to demonstrate how large vehicles can manoeuvre past the so-called “pinch point” created by the bollards, especially when the parking bays are in use, including the disabled parking bays.

Oil Tanker Unable To Navigate Bollards

As customers and those making deliveries to Brookes Garage regularly commit aggravated trespass on my Client’s land, he engaged the parking enforcement company, Flashpark. To date, over 50 PCNs have been issued for unlawful parking, including a vehicle owned by NYCC.

One-Way System

The Applicants proposed one-way system for the current Application requires the use of the area allocated for the parking of the fuel tanker for purposes of delivery. As my Client has 24/7 right of access across Brookes Garage’s forecourt, in either direction, the forecourt cannot be closed for fuel deliveries, as this would deny my Client access to his own site.

In consequence, this makes the proposed one-way system an impossibility.

Road Safety Report

The current Application fails to mitigate the issues raised in the accredited Road Safety Review – A19 North Road, Brooke’s Garage – 17 March 2022, or provide an alternative accredited Road Traffic Report.

The dangers raised in the Report are made manifest by HGVs reversing onto the A19.

Delivery HGV Reverses On A19

Petroleum Certification

When the fuel tanker is making deliveries to Brookes Garage, the A19 becomes a scene of utter chaos.

Fuel Tanker Causes Chaos On A19

Why have the required Risk Assessments by both Certas (petroleum delivery firm) and Brookes Garage failed to mitigate these risks?

Why has NYC failed to ensure that Certas and Brookes Garage have mitigated these risks?

Where the tanker parks, it obstructs my Client’s lawful Right of Access for up to two hours, on numerous occasions each month.

In the future, will my Client seek an injunction against Brookes Garage against this obstruction?

At the same time, will my Client seek an injunction for a breach of the condition that prohibits Brookes Garage from “the sale of hot food on or off the premises”?

Take-Away Planning Consent

As the take-away aspect is a dominant part of Brookes Garage’s retail business, why have HDC Planning and NYC not required Brookes Garage to submit an Application for A5 Use Class?

A considerable part of the danger to highway users is caused by those parking on the highway (A19) to pick up a “bacon buttie”.

A viable Planning Application would be required to mitigate this risk.

NYC Highways Silence

After almost a year, why have NYC Highways not yet made a submission regarding the current application?

Why have NYC Highways accepted the encroachment onto the public highway by Brookes Garage without a Stopping-Up Order?

Simple Questions

To conclude, and to prevent burdening the reader with too much detail, I encourage those in the Court of Public Opinion to consider the following simple questions:

  • Why has HDC Planning failed to take Enforcement action against Brookes Garage for the failure to secure Planning Consent for 10 years?
  • Why did NYCC Highways do nothing about the danger to life of those travelling on the A19?
  • When will the new NYC, which has responsibility for Highways and Planning, and Petroleum Certification, take appropriate action?
  • Given that Brookes Garage have had no adequate Planning Consent for 10 years, have they informed their insurers of their Employer’s Liability and Public Liability status?
  • Why has neither HDC Planning nor NYC taken enforcement action for the failure to provide the required turning area for large vehicles?
  • Why has neither HDC Planning nor NYC taken enforcement action for the failure to provide parking for large vehicles?
  • Why have NYCC Highways/NYC done nothing to prevent HGVs that deliver to Brookes Garage from causing a danger to road users by unloading on the Highway (A19)?
  • Why have NYCC Highways/NYC done nothing to prevent tractor drivers from picking up a “bacon butty” at Brookes Garage and causing a danger to road users by parking on the Highway (A19)?
  • As HGVs using the services at Brookes Garage cause a danger to road users, why is the Garage allowed to attract such vehicles by displaying signs on the highway for fuel cards, predominately used by HGVs?
  • Who, at NYC, would be charged with Corporate Manslaughter in the event of loss of life due to its failures?

Will our Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, intervene in this clear travesty of his Government’s Planning system in his own backyard?

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