CASEBOOK: Appeal cases - Gypsies and travellers - Gypsy site day room deemed to harm green belt

A proposal to retain a building at a Gypsy site in the Essex green belt has been rejected after an inspector ruled that the size and scale of the structure were not justified by the needs of its users.

The building had been erected to a high specification and was of brick and tile construction with a substantial lounge, kitchen, bathroom and two other rooms. The appellant claimed that it was needed to meet the day-to-day needs of Gypsy families living on the site, providing access to the normal range of domestic facilities and a good standard of living commensurate with their traditional lifestyle.

The inspector was unconvinced that the appeal building was constructed to provide a genuinely communal facility to be shared in perpetuity by four separate families. The accommodation greatly exceeded the council's guidelines for day room provision on Gypsy sites and accordingly went beyond the needs of people living on the site, he ruled.

DCS No: 39105849; Inspector: Michael Aldous; Hearing.

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