Planning inquiry begins over gypsy sites in Brayfield Stables

Grace Witherden

Planning inquiry begins over gypsy sites in Brayfield Stables

Originally published on Thursday, May 19.

A public inquiry about the council’s decision to refuse planning permission for gypsy sites in Brayfield Stables began yesterday (Wednesday).

The Royal Borough rejected Wayne Owen’s retrospective application to station two caravans and two amenity rooms in Brayfield Stables, Water Oakley in April 2015.

Five years ago, the Planning Inspectorate ruled Mr Owen and Lee Cooper, a co-applicant at the time, could have caravans there for their families for four years, after they appealed the borough’s decision to block the build. The ruling was made on condition that site was vacated and restored to its former condition after four years.

In February 2014, Mr Owen launched a fresh application to the borough to house two caravans on the site, which was rejected by the council. He is now appealing to the Planning Inspectorate.

Mr Owen is also appealing the enforcement notice which ordered him to remove caravans and amenity blocks from the site after the four-year time limit expired.

Edmund Robb, from Prospect Law and speaking on behalf of the Royal Borough, said there was significant harm to the greenbelt which outweighed very special circumstances.

Senior planning officer Susan Sharman provided evidence on behalf of the council and she was then cross-examined by Michael Rudd, who represented the appellants.

He said: “The council has acknowledged the unmet need for gypsy sites but has done nothing to address it.

“They will end up living on another site in the greenbelt, the personal circumstances must be in the interest of the child and children that live there.

“The bigger problem is that you’ve provided nothing in five years.”

The inquiry continues in the Desborough Suite in the town hall and will include a site visit and evidence from the appellants. It is expected to finish today (Thursday).

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