Social Welfare Lawyers in the Centre of Birmingham

Traveller planning

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

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.