CASEBOOK: Court cases - Gypsy policy quashed due to procedural failure

A Gypsy has persuaded the Court of Appeal that four local authorities involved in producing a joint structure plan failed to give adequate reasons for not accepting an examination-in-public panel's conclusion that the plan should support the identification of Gypsy sites in local plans.

The High Court had previously rejected the argument that the four unitary authorities in the former Avon area should have included a policy requiring sites to be identified at a local level. The judge concluded (Planning, 4 April, p18) that the inclusion of a policy setting out criteria against which sites could be assessed complied sufficiently with the recommendations of the examining panel.

But Lord Justice Carnwath agreed that the authorities, in implementing the panel's recommendation, had clearly departed from it without giving adequate reasons. While they were entitled to take another view, he ruled, they had to give adequate reasons following public consultation. The policy was struck out of the structure plan.

Butler v Bath and North East Somerset Council and Others; Date: 30 October 2003; Ref: C3/2003/0762.

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