Isolated gypsy site denied permanent permission

An inspector decided nine gypsy pitches were poorly located for traveller development, being remote from services and damaging to a rural landscape, but concluded a temporary three-year permission would bridge the gap until council plans for suitable sites in Northamptonshire were in place.

National guidance in Planning Policy for Traveller Sites (PPTS) requires councils to identify and update annually a five-year supply of deliverable sites to meet locally set targets. The council’s core strategy indicated that, where necessary, traveller sites would be allocated in an emerging local plan, which was anticipated to be adopted towards the end of 2018. In the meantime, the inspector found evidence pointed to a current modest unmet need for pitches.

The large and untidy site had been linked with a number of crimes and the local community of the nearby village objected, but the inspector judged the settlement would not be dominated physically or socially by the existing traveller community that also included other sites in the area.

Giving significant weight to the lack of alternative suitable provision and moderate weight to the personal circumstances of the occupiers, but finding these insufficient to outweigh the harm to the countryside and from an inaccessible location, the inspector concluded a permanent permission had not been justified but a three-year temporary period would be appropriate and a proportionate interference in human rights.

Inspector: Bern Hellier; Hearing

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