This was an appeal against an enforcement notice concerning the stationing of gypsy caravans on a countryside site which had previously been part of a protected woodland. The gypsies felled several hundred trees in order to create their pitches. The Council relied on the loss of trees as a reason for taking enforcement action, arguing that better replanting would be possible if the residential use ceased. The appellants argued that the TPO was invalid because of drafting errors. The Inspector proceeded on the basis that the TPO was valid and dismissed the appeal. The appellants were subsequently convicted in the Crown Court for offences under s210 TPCA.
The case also raised the correct approach to European Protected Species under paragraph 99 of C6/2005 (a pre-development survey is required if there is a reasonable likelihood that protected species are present on a site). There was a reasonable likelihood that such species had been present on the site and the absence of proper survey information was held to be a good reason for taking enforcement action. Logically the requisite survey should have considered the situation before the development enforced against was carried out.
Richard Langham appeared for the local planning authority.