DC Casebook: Court case - Gypsy family allowed to remain on site

South Cambridgeshire District Council has failed in an attempt to have an inspector's decision to grant a Gypsy family a personal planning permission overturned.

The family cared for a severely disabled child and had decided to settle on the site so she could receive suitable medical attention. The inspector found these circumstances so significant as to justify a personal permission, despite the significant harm caused to the area's character and appearance. The council argued that the appellants should have demonstrated to the inspector that no less harmful alternative sites were available.

Lord Justice Baker rejected this argument. He ruled that the inspector had properly considered the evidence, noting that the land did not lie in a green belt and the family had no desire to move into a traditional dwellinghouse. In a truly exceptional case the inspector had decided that a personal permission was justified, the judge ruled.

South Cambridgeshire District Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Date 5 September 2008

Ref C1/2007/2282.

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