Taxi firm owner appeals closing down order

Penarth Times: APPEAL: Taxi firm owner David Mais is appealing the refusal of retrospective planning permission (5339199) APPEAL: Taxi firm owner David Mais is appealing the refusal of retrospective planning permission (5339199)

A PENARTH taxi firm owner is appealing against an enforcement order to close down after he was refused planning permission by the Vale Council.

David Mais, who set up Cabs 64 in Penarth in June 2013, had applied for retrospective planning permission in a bid to continue trading the firm from its headquarters at 20B Glebe Street, but the application was rejected and he was ordered to “permanently cease the use of the premises as a taxi call centre”.

The matter, which went before a Penarth Town Council planning committee meeting last night, April 9, will now go to the Planning Inspectorate who will determine his appeal.

During the council meeting councillor Gwyn Roberts, who represents the St Augustine’s ward, said that the town council did not object to the planning application when it first went before them and they had not changed their stance.

Councillor Neil Thomas, chairman of the planning committee meeting, said that previous supporting comments on the application would be presented to officers when considering the appeal.

David Mais, who attended the town council meeting, said that the firm had 17 drivers and six office staff and was going “from strength to strength” despite the recent enforcement order.

He added that he had enrolled a planning consultant to deal with the appeal and that he had come to the meeting to see what was being said about the application.

He told the committee meeting that when he first approached the Vale licensing department they said if he found a premises and they were suitable they would issue him an operator’s licence, but a month after he was granted his licence and set up the business they said he needed change of use planning permission.

The application for a change of use from office space to a private hire taxi booking office was refused for the following reason: “The proposed retention of the taxi office would be detrimental to the amenities of nearby residential occupiers by virtue of unacceptable noise and general disturbance from the operations of the office, adversely impacting upon the living conditions of neighbours, and would also result in additional pressure for on-street parking where there is a current lack of parking provision.”

Cllr Gwyn Roberts, who has been in discussion with Mr Mais about the application, said that since the enforcement order was introduced the business had no public access to the office, had been trying to reduce noise from it and was trying whatever action it could to stop drivers calling into there.

Cllr Neil Thomas said there were concerns of congestion and the amount of cars parked in the area, but councillor Anthony Ernest said the cars were out on the road most of the time.

Cllr Ernest, who represents the Plymouth ward, said: “If we don’t make provision for this business to operate in the town it makes it makes it extremely difficult for them to carry on.

“In this economic climate we should be supportive of the town centre.”

The appeal is to be determined on the basis of an exchange of written statements by the parties and a site visit by an Inspector from the Planning Inspectorate.

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