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More than 50 Sheffield Council planning decisions overturned by Government inspectors

Sheffield Town Hall.
Sheffield Town Hall.

Government inspectors have overturned more than 50 decisions taken by Sheffield Council on planning applications in the last four years, new figures reveal.

The Planning Inspectorate – a body which intervenes when an applicant is unhappy with a council's decision – has granted applications previously rejected by the authority or amended conditions on 47 occasions since 2013. In addition, a further four applications were partially overturned.

Sheffield Council claimed this shows it is one of the best performing authorities in the country as less than one per cent of all planning decisions taken - which totalled more than 14, 000 in the last four years - have been overturned on appeal.

A spokesman added: ""This ranks Sheffield among the best in the country. Our performance should give confidence to developers and local residents about our well thought out approach to planning matters.”

The majority of cases dealt with were relatively small applications to do with the council's refusal of applications to build extensions on private homes.

One application of particular note was a decision to refuse planning permission to demolish the Old Cart and Horses Inn at Wortley Road, High Green, and replace it with a hot food takeaway.

Councillors sided with residents who raised concerns about losing a historic building and the increase of noise and traffic, but the application was overturned and granted by the Inspectorate in June 2014.

The statistics - revealed through a Freedom of Information request – also showed 127 appeals were thrown out with the inspectorate ruling in the council's favour.

These appeals ranged from property conversion plans to the extension of opening hours at restaurants.

One of the larger schemes on the list was to convert Woodhouse Trinity Methodist Church into 12 flats.

The applicants appealed against the council's decision to refuse the scheme.

But the inspectorate upheld the authority's decision over concerns that too many changes were proposed that would have negatively affected the church's status as a Grade-II listed building.

The Star also asked for a breakdown of how much it cost to process each appeal, but the authority said it was not in a position to release this information because it would be too time consuming.