Friday, 8 June 2012

Council awarded costs in caravan site extension row - Derbyshire

From the Burton Mail

A GYPSY who wants to extend his caravan site will have to pay costs to a council after he acted ‘unreasonably’.

Shaun Calladine must pay the money to South Derbyshire District Council after his appeal to increase his site by three more caravans was refused.

Mr Calladine, of The Conifers, in Park Road, Overseal, applied to the district council to change the use of the site for a combination of Gypsy caravans site and general caravan.

He wanted to encourage people of nongipsy status to use the park after claiming he had been asked by members of the community if there was any low-cost accommodation they could rent.

However, the council’s planning officers rejected his proposal, and subsequently made an enforcement notice after he increased the number of caravans without permission.

Mr Calladine then appealed against both the refusal and the notice made by the council for breaching its decision.

The planning inspectorate, called to judge on appeals, said the council’s wording of the enforcement notice was incorrect and ‘does not specify with sufficient clarity the alleged breach of planning control’.

It was breached after people, other than Mr Calladine’s family, used the site.

The district council refused the application, stating the site would not be suitable for three additional caravans.

Planning inspector Claire Sherratt said: “I am concerned that no mechanism has been put forward by the appellant to demonstrate how the occupation of the accommodation to those with a need for local affordable housing would be secured in perpetuity.

“Even if it had been at times when the accommodation is occupied by a member of the settled population, it is no longer providing available accommodation to meet the needs of a Gypsy or Travellers and vice versa.”

She added that Mr Calladine acted unreasonably by failing to provide evidence of a need for additional accommodation for Gypsies, Travellers, and more importantly, a need for low cost affordable housing.

The site already has permission for eight caravans for Traveller use.

The council is to contact Mr Calladine with details of the total amount owed.

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