Social Welfare Lawyers in the Centre of Birmingham

Traveller planning

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

Planning Permission in the Green Belt – the very special circumstances test

Redhill Aerodrome Limited -v- Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Tandridge District Council [2014] EWHC 2476 (Admin)

By: Marc Willers QC, Garden Court Chambers

The planning policy governing the provision of Gypsy and Traveller sites is to be found in Planning policy for traveller sites (2012) and the policy governing all forms of development in the Green Belt is to be found in Part 9 of the National Planning Policy Framework (2012). Like other types of housing, Gypsy and Traveller caravan sites are considered to be inappropriate development in the Green Belt and they will only be granted planning permission if ‘very special circumstances’ exist.

Connors & Others -v- SSCLG & Others

Connors, Connors, Doran, Sines and Lee v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and others [2014] EWHC 2358 (Admin) 11 July 2014

This case involved 5 High Court planning appeals and applications under either Section 288 or Section 289 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 that were all heard together. All of these cases had been recovered by the SSCLG under his powers to do so and in line with the Written Ministerial Statements of 1st July 2013 and 17th January 2014.

Ball -v- SSCLG & Brentwood Borough Council

Ball – v – Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Brentwood Borough Council [2014] EWCA Civ 372, 11 March 2014.

 The Appellant was seeking planning permission for change of use of land to provide 6 residential Gypsy/Traveller pitches. This was refused by the local authority and he appealed to the Planning Inspector. Mr Pickles, the Constituency MP, put in a strong objection to the appeal.

Flynn -v- SSCLG and Basildon BC

Flynn -v- Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (SSCLG) and Basildon Borough Council [2014] EWHC 390 (Admin), 20 February 2014

Mrs Flynn was one of the Travellers evicted from the Dale Farm site in November 2011. She moved her caravan to an access track leading to Dale Farm. On 24th July 2012, Basildon DC (as they then were) served an Enforcement Notice on Mrs Flynn.

R (Hand) -v- SSCLG

R (Hand) -v- Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2014] EWHC 314 (Admin), 23 January 2014

Town and County Planning Act 1990 Section 171 B (3) states that enforcement action can be taken against the use of land in general within 10 years from the use commencing. However, use of a building as a dwellinghouse becomes immune from enforcement and, therefore, lawful after 4 years.

Stevens -v- SSCLG

Stevens -v- SSCLG & Guildford Borough Council [2013] EWCH 792 (Admin) 10 April 2013

In this case Mr Justice Hickinbottom held that a planning inspector had complied with the requirement laid down by Article3(1) of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)  and Article 8 of the Convention when dismissing an appeal against a local authority’s decision to refuse to grant temporary planning permission for a Gypsy site in the Green Belt.