Friday, 23 September 2011

Appeal against Herefordshire Council planning decision dismissed

A government inspector has dismissed an appeal made against three planning decisions by Herefordshire Council regarding a caravan site for gypsies and travellers at Upton Bishop, near Ross.

The dismissal means an enforcement notice seeking the removal of caravans from the site at Marsh Farm has been upheld and the council’s refusal of planning permission for caravans, mobile homes and log cabins for gypsies and travellers at the same site has also been supported.

The inspector also dismissed an appeal against refusal of planning permission for three log cabins for gypsies and travellers at a second site at Holmes Grove.

Inspector Diane Lewis made her decision following a public inquiry which sat for six days and included representations from residents living in Upton Bishop and surrounding villages.

She concluded that the sites did not comply with the council’s Unitary Development Plan because they are not within a reasonable distance of services and facilities, the site is not small and the proposal would have an adverse impact on the character and amenity of the landscape. She also said the proposal would threaten a priority habitat, namely a traditional orchard.

In her decision notice, the inspector said she recognised there was a shortage of sites in the county, but that these two, through their characteristics and location, were not appropriate for a gypsy and traveller site.

She has also varied the enforcement notice making the time period for compliance nine months.

Councillor Brian Wilcox, Herefordshire Council’s cabinet member for environment, housing and planning, said: “Planning decisions such as this are often finely balanced and it is always pleasing to have an inspector agree with decisions made by the council.

"Members of the planning committee and officers have a difficult job in judging the merits of such schemes which are influenced by national as well as local policies and I would like to thank them for their work in this difficult case,” he added.

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