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Land at Charmy Down, Upper Swainswick, Bath

DATE: 17 Jul 2007

This inquiry considered a post-C1/2006 application for temporary planning permission to continue to station gypsy caravans at Charmy Down, Upper Swainswick, Bath.  The site had been the subject of an unsuccessful appeal in 2005 and had been considered, in the context of injunction proceedings, by the High Court in Bath and NE Somerset Council v Connors and others [2006] EWHC 1595, [2007] JPL 140.  The site was in the Green Belt and the AONB, had a seriously unsafe access and lay above an important aquifer.  On the other hand the local planning authority (which was the lead authority responsible for the unlawful Structure Plan gypsy policy considered in Butler v BANES [2004] JPL 941) had no gypsy sites, relied on a criteria based policy which had been criticized as inadequate by the local plan Inspector and could not identify any alternative site for the appellants.  The emerging RSS suggested that the authority would have to provide 18 pitches.  

Jurisdiction was recovered.  The appeal was dismissed and an enforcement notice upheld. 

Richard Langham appeared for the local planning authority.  He has also appeared in successful contempt proceedings taken against the occupants of the site.