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  6. Pickles gives more time for traveller compliance

Pickles gives more time for traveller compliance

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has dismissed two separate enforcement appeals for gypsy and traveller developments but in each case he allowed more time for those involved to comply.

The first was involved a Green Belt location at Waltham St Lawrence, near Maidenhed, where the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council had objected to a change of use from agricultural to the siting of caravans and/or mobile homes used for residential purposes plus the importation of material for an access road and hard standings.

The change of use was acknowledged to be inappropriate development for a Green Belt site and which also posed a flood risk.

Pickles made it clear that a temporary permission could not be justified but in line with the inspector’s recommendation extended the compliance period from two months to 18 months.

The second appeal was over an enforcement notice in respect of a change of use from part agricultural and equestrian use to use as a residential caravan site.

The land was at Poulton-le-Fylde in Lancashire. Pickles concluded that the overall balance of the case did not justify a temporary permission and that the planning balance would not alter even if substantial weight were given to unmet need for sites.

Although there was a case for a settled base for the families involved Pickles agreed with the inspector that was not sufficient to outweigh the conflict with the development plan.

In the event the Secretary of State extended the four-month compliance period to 12 months.

Roger Milne

8 September 2011