Site turned down despite need assessment flaws

An inspector has refused permission for caravans and a dayroom on a west Wales site that the appellant had bought without checking with the council if it would grant permission.

The appellant said the council's assessment of the need for extra Gypsy and traveller pitches considerably underestimated demand. The inspector agreed that the assessment was deficient, but considered that the local development plan, which provisionally proposed extending three existing sites, would address its shortcomings.

He found that the appeal site was poorly located for sustainability and that the structures would harm local character. The opportunistic purchase could also set an undesirable precedent, he said. A temporary permission was unacceptable given the site preparation works needed, he ruled.

However, he awarded partial costs to the appellant after the council acknowledged that it had been mistaken in concluding that the appellant had not demonstrated his Gypsy status. In addition, he held that the council had acted unreasonably in citing a substandard access as a reason for refusal, since its objection could have been overcome by imposing a condition.

Inspector: Clive Nield; Inquiry.


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