The Claimants applied under s. 288 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 for an order quashing a decision (dated 5 March 2008) of an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government by which the Inspector dismissed the Claimants’ appeal under s. 78 of the 1990 Act against refusal of planning permission by South Somerset District Council by Notice dated 28 February 2007. The Claimants moved onto the Appeal Site in 2003 without planning permission. The Claimants later applied for planning permission for use of the site as a private family gypsy site. The Second Defendant refused the application. By Enforcement Notice dated 13 February 2004, the Second Defendant required the cessation of use of the Appeal Site as a caravan site and its restoration. The Claimants did not appeal the Enforcement Notice but did they did appeal the refusal of planning permission. By a decision letter dated 11 August 2005, the Inspector rejected the appeal. In summary, he considered that the Appeal Site was unacceptable as a permanent gypsy site because of the “fundamental conflict” with the policies to protect the local environment. However, he granted the Claimants a temporary permission for one year to enable the family to relocate to another site and to minimise the impact on the education of the Claimants’ children. On 10 August 2006 the temporary permission expired. By an application form dated 27 September 2006, the Claimants again sought planning permission for the development. By notice dated 28 February 2007, the Second Defendant refused this application. The Claimants appealed to the Planning Inspectorate under s. 78 of the 1990 Act. The appeal was dismissed and the Claimants applied under s.288.
Held. Application allowed. The Inspector’s reasons were sub-optimal.