Luton airport is the fifth largest airport in the United Kingdom by passenger numbers. GPS Estates Ltd (“GPS”) operates a “meet and greet” service at the airport, under which it collects cars from passengers and stores them at an off-airport site 2km away (without planning permission) whilst the passenger is away. Luton Borough Council’s Local Plan includes a policy, LLA2, on airport-related car parking. In 2012, the Council served an enforcement notice on GPS requiring it to cease the storage of the vehicles at the site for reasons including contravention of policy LLA2. GPS appealed against the notice, but the Secretary of State’s appointed Inspector dismissed the appeal. GPS then successfully appealed in the High Court. The Judge concluded (amongst other things) that the Inspector had misapplied a criterion of policy LLA2.
The Court of Appeal has today allowed the Secretary of State’s appeal and reinstated the Inspector’s decision. It concluded, applying the principles in Tesco Stores Ltd v Dundee City Council  PTSR 983, that the Inspector’s interpretation of policy LLA2 had been correct all along.
Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers represented the Secretary of State. Today’s Judgment represents Stephen’s fourth consecutive successful appearance in the Court of Appeal in the last five months, on three of those occasions overturning the High Court on behalf of the appellant.
For a copy of the Judgment, click here.