Doncaster MBC – v – Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [SSCLG] & AB  EWHC 2876 (Admin), 6 October 2016.
AB was granted planning permission for a Gypsy site in the Green Belt by a Planning Inspector. She had previously had two temporary permissions for the same site. The local authority challenged the decision.
The challenge was defended both by the SSCLG and by AB. Gilbart J rejected all grounds of the challenge. He concluded: In my judgment, this is a Decision Letter over which an experienced Inspector has taken a great deal of care to address all relevant issues in a fair and balanced manner. The views he reached on the merits were plainly ones he was entitled to reach, both within the bounds of the law and of the National Planning Policy Framework and the Planning policy for Travellers. Neither are designed, written or intended to prevent the grant of permission in proper cases for such developments in the Green Belt, and it does nothing to water down the strength of national policy. This case involved the combination of a development whose adverse effects on openness was limited, a very strong case of personal circumstances, and an admitted need for pitches, where the supply was uncertain, in the view of successive Inspectors (para 88).
Counsel for the SSCLG was Mr Kimblin QC. The solicitor for AB was Parminder Sanghera of CLP and counsel were Marc Willers QC and Justine Compton of Garden Court Chambers.