Social Welfare Lawyers in the Centre of Birmingham

Moore -v- SSCLG

Moore v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and London Borough of Bromley [2012] EWHC 3192 (Admin), 16th November 2012

In this case a Planning Inspector refused both permanent and temporary planning permission for this Gypsy/Traveller site in the Green Belt.

This application under Town and Country Planning Act 1990 Section 288 was mainly dealing with the refusal of temporary permission.   Mrs Justice Cox DBE quashed the decision with regard to temporary permission.  She stated (at para 74):-

In circumstances where no alternative sites were available, or likely to become available in the foreseeable future; where injunction proceedings for immediate eviction had already been started; where the inspector found that the Claimant and her children would probably have to leave the site if permission were refused; where there was a recognised risk that the Claimant and her children, once evicted, would have to resort to roadside existence, which would harm the Claimant’s health and cause serious harm to the quality of life of the Claimant and her children; and where there was no evidence that the Claimant, once evicted, would in fact be offered a pitch on one of the Council-run sites or indeed anywhere else in the area, the decision that the other material considerations in this case were not sufficient to clearly outweigh the identified harm and to justify the grant of temporary permission was, in my judgment, irrational. 

With regard to the question of the best interests of the children, she stated (at para 78):-

I accept [Mr Cottle’s] submission that, in this case, it was incumbent on the inspector, for the purposes of that balancing exercise, to make clear findings as to what would happen in this case once the Claimant was evicted and, in particular, whether it was more likely than not that the Claimant and their children would have to move to a roadside existence or whether, alternatively, they would be offered accommodation on a suitable, alternative site.

The Secretary of State appealed the case to the Court of Appeal and the hearing of this appeal took place on 15th July 2013. Judgment is reserved.

A copy of the Judgment is attached to this article.