Eastbourne service station wins appeal over unlawful canopy

A planning inspector has ruled a canopy which was installed at an Eastbourne service station without permission can stay.

Monday, 26th April 2021, 2:28 pm

Eastbourne council took enforcement action after the canopy was installed at the forecourt of Old Town service Station in The High Street despite planning permission for the structure being refused.

The council served an enforcement notice requiring the canopy to be taken down saying it was overbearing and unsightly in a conservation area but the garage owners appealed against the action and a government inspector found in its favour.

A council spokesperson said the appeal was upheld and enforcement notice quashed.

The spokesperson said, “The planning inspectorate disagreed the that the canopy was in conflict with the character and appearance of the conservation area. The inspectorate describes the wide forecourt, fuel pumps and shop building on the appeal site are clearly modern elements in the conservation area, with signage, lighting and paraphernalia associated with the commercial use.

“The inspector also said that overall, ‘prior to the installation of the canopy, the appeal site was a neutral element in terms of the character and appearance of the conservation area. The canopy that has been installed is taller than the single storey element of the shop building, but roughly the same height as the two storey part of the building. The texture and colour of the materials are similar to the cladding used on the shop building and as a result of its pitched roof element, it has a bulkier design than a conventional flat roofed canopy, but its open sided construction and has muted colours against the backdrop of the existing building, the wall and the substantial tree belt. It does not therefore appear overly bulky in this context.

“The inspectorate states the ‘canopy is well set back from the road and therefore does not appear prominent or overbearing. In the context of the filling station forecourt it does not appear incongruous; so within a commercial site is not harmful. Overall, it has a neutral effect on the contribution of the site to the conservation area’.”