Social Welfare Lawyers in the Centre of Birmingham

Traveller planning

R (O’Brien) – v – South Cambridgeshire Council and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

R (O’Brien) – v – South Cambridgeshire Council and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2016] EWHC 36 (Admin), 22 January 2016

This case involved applications for retrospective planning permission.  Localism Act 2011 Section 123 amends Town and Country Planning Act 1990  by adding a new Section 70C which reads as follows:-

R (Mulvenna and Smith) – v – Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Equality and Human Rights Commission

R (Mulvenna and Smith) – v – Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Equality and Human Rights Commission [2015] EWHC 3494 (Admin), 4th December 2015

This case followed on from the case of R (Moore and Coates) – v – SSCLG (see the CLP website at:- (http://www.communitylawpartnership.co.uk/traveller-planning).

St Edmundsbury Borough Council – v – Oakley

St Edmundsbury Borough Council – v – Oakley [2015] EWHC 1975 (QB), 10 July 2015, Mrs Justice Patterson

The defendant had planning permission for a single Gypsy site but injunction action under Town and Country Planning Act 1990 Section 187B was taken against her for bringing on a residential touring caravan in an unauthorised location, use of the stable block for residential purposes and other matters.  An injunction order was granted on 17 December 2014 but was not complied with.  Committal action was taken.

Reilly – v – Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council

Reilly – v – SSCLG and Hinckley and Bosworth BC [2015] EWHC 1957 (Admin) 15 July 2015, Mrs Justice Lang.

The claimant was an Irish Traveller and one of a group of Travellers who lived at a site called the Good Friday Site in Leicestershire.  An application for planning permission was refused and an appeal was made to a Planning Inspector.  The Inspector refused the site permission and gave great significance to highways safety at the access and especially to the fact that there had been a fatal crash at the access when a vehicle was trying to turn in.

Wenman –v- The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (SSCLG) and

Wenman –v- SSCLG [2015] EWHC 925 (Admin), 21 April 2015, Mrs Justice Lang

Mr Wenman is a Romani Gypsy who was seeking permission for a one pitch Gypsy Site for him and his family.  He was unsuccessful before the local planning authority and also before the Planning Inspector. He appealed to the High Court under Town and Country Planning Act 1990 Section 288 on the basis that the Planning Inspector had failed to properly address the relevance of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).  The First Defendant, the Secretary of State, argued that NPPF was not relevant here and what was relevant was only Planning Policy for Traveller Sites (PPTS).

Dear -v- SSCLG & Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear -v- Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council [2015] EWHC 29 (Admin) 19 January 2015

Ms Dear had been refused permission by the Council for a Gypsy site and appealed to the Planning Inspector.  The matter was recovered by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (SSCLG).  The Inspector recommended refusal of both permanent and temporary permission and the SSCLG agreed with his Inspector.  Ms Dear appealed to the High Court.

Moore & Coates -v- SSCLG

Moore & Coates -v- Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government & London Borough of Bromley and Dartford Borough Council and Equality and Human Rights Commission [2015] EWHC 44 (Admin)

Ms Moore and Ms Coates are Romani Gypsies who were seeking planning permission for single pitch sites for themselves and their families (in Ms Moore’s case from London Borough of Bromley and in Ms Coates’ case from Dartford Borough Council). Ms Moore had previously been refused planning permission by a Planning Inspector but had had that decision quashed by a High Court Judge and that quashing of the decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal (see the Travellers Times blog ‘Gypsy Woman wins in Court of Appeal’ http://travellerstimes.org.uk/Blog–Comment/Gypsy-woman-wins-in-court-of-appeal.aspx.

Following the quashing of the Planning Inspector’s decision, Ms Moore’s case was returned to another Planning Inspector. Ms Coates had applied for planning permission which had been refused by the local planning authority. She had appealed to a Planning Inspector. The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (SSCLG), Mr Pickles, decided to recover their appeal cases to make the decisions himself.

O’Connor -v- SSCLG & Epping Forest District Council

O’Connor – v – Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Epping Forest District Council [2014] EWHC 3821 (Admin), 20 November 2014

This case involved an attempt by Irish Traveller families to obtain planning permission for a site in the Green Belt.  The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (SSCLG) decided to “recover” the appeal that went to the Planning Inspector against the local authority’s refusal of planning permission. 

The Planning Inspector recommended to SSCLG that temporary permission should be granted.  SSCLG refused permission laying great emphasis on the question of flood risk.  In the High Court, Wyn Williams J quashed the SSCLG’s decision stating:-

In my Judgment the conclusion reached by the [SSCLG] about the flood risk on the appeal site was unreasonable and/or it failed to take account of material considerations namely the factual conclusions made by the Inspector and his Judgment based upon those factual conclusions (para 46).

See: O’Connor -v- SSCLG & Epping Forest District Council Judgment