DC Casebook: Appeal cases - Site integration aim offset by impact

A proposal to vary conditions on an eight-caravan Gypsy site in Kent to allow four more caravans for occupation by non-Gypsies has been rejected following a ruling that it would harm the character and appearance of the countryside.

The appellant produced a list of people who had expressed an interest in living on the site. He also referred to the high cost of local housing, the affordability of the proposed accommodation and the need to provide more homes generally. However, no evidence was produced relating to any specific local housing need.

The inspector appreciated and supported the appellant's desire for the Gypsies on the site to integrate with the local community. However, she remarked that the site was located outside any settlement and was isolated from other residential areas. Its fundamental purpose was to provide mobile homes for Gypsies, she determined.

The inspector was not convinced by suggestions that occupation of some of the units by non-Gypsies would stop the site being referred to as a Gypsy site. In her view, the four additional caravans would result in a more intensive form of development and would seriously and unacceptably detract from the character and appearance of the countryside. This would outweigh the benefits of the scheme, she concluded.

DCS Number 100-051-239

Inspector Elizabeth Lawrence; Hearing.


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