Taxi firm owner wins appeal against closing down order
3:17pm Friday 4th July 2014 in News
A PENARTH taxi firm owner has won his appeal against an enforcement order from the Vale Council to close down and stop operating in the town.
David Mais, who set up Cab 64 in Penarth in June 2013, had applied for retrospective planning permission in a bid to continue trading the firm from its headquarters on the corner at 20B Glebe Street, but the application was rejected by the Vale Council and he was ordered to “permanently cease the use of the premises as a taxi call centre”.
He found out on Thursday, July 3, that the Planning Inspector Richard E Jenkins had overturned the decision on appeal and that he was free to continue trading in Penarth.
“It’s a massive weight off my shoulders,” he said.
“I would like to thank everyone for their support all the way through this.”
Mr Mais, who has been a taxi driver in Penarth for many years, said that it was a relief to be granted planning permission after fighting for it for more than a year.
“I’m just glad that its now all over,” he said.
“There were a few conditions, like we must have triple glazing and we aren’t allowed customers in the office after certain hours, but it’s what we wanted.
“It was so stressful that I was overwhelmed when I got the good news.”
He has now been granted retrospective planning permission for change of use from an existing office unit into a private hire taxi booking office, as well as for an external radio mast/antenna on the roof of the building.
In conclusion to the appeal, following a site visit on June 23, Planning Inspector Richard E Jenkins said in his report: “I consider that the change of use would not cause material harm to the living conditions of neighbouring properties. Neither do I consider that it would undermine highway safety. As such, and having considered all matters raised, including those raised by interested parties, I conclude that the appeal should be allowed.”
He added that there were a number of conditions: “I have imposed a condition limiting the times within which customers can visit the taxi booking office in order to safeguard the living conditions of neighbouring occupiers. Outside such hours, all bookings should be made via the telephone. Given the remote employment of the drivers, and based on my conclusions above, I consider the Council’s suggested restriction on the number of vehicles to be unduly onerous and unreasonable. Also, given the restriction on customers visiting the booking office, I do not consider the Councils suggested condition No. 4, which aims to prevent a customer waiting room, to be necessary. However, as offered by the appellant, I consider a condition requiring all windows at the premises to be triple glazed and fixed shut to be necessary, reasonable and enforceable.”