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Oxen Lane, North Curry

DATE: 04 Dec 2007

This inquiry sat for six days between December 2007 and March 2008 and considered a post-C1/2006 application for planning permission to continue use of part of the controversial gypsy site at Oxen Lane, North Curry.  The original 16 pitch site had been established suddenly over a weekend in October 2004.  An enforcement notice had been upheld on appeal in 2005.  The present application was for four pitches.  The site was not in the Green Belt and had no special designation.  A nearby junction was deficient but it was said that a small number of extra vehicles would make no material difference to this.  The local planning authority had a good record of providing gypsy sites but there remained an unmet need and the authority had not identified any new sites.  The Inspector held that individually none of the pitches caused unacceptable harm, but that, if one was permitted, it would be impossible to resist the other three appeal pitches – or pitches elsewhere on the site.  He therefore dismissed the appeals.  The decision was unsuccessfully challenged (Holland v SSCLG [2009] EWHC 2161 (Admin)). 

Richard Langham appeared for the local planning authority.