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Travellers application referred to the Planning Inspectorate

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A group of Romany travellers have appealed against a council’s decision to refuse planning permission for a site in Somerset.

The family in question are seeking permission to change the use of the existing site in the Cheddar Valley to have five static caravans, five touring caravans and five day rooms.

Mendip District Council had originally thrown out the application last September, citing a flood risk and harm to the character of the surrounding area.

However, the gypsies have argued that an alleged failure to make adequate provision for gypsies and travellers in the area should have been given significant weight when councillors considered the application. The case will now be referred to the Planning Inspectorate.

Planning expert Simon Ruston said that the local authority had failed to meet a “clear and pressing need” for pitches and this should have had a bearing on the decision over the plans to extend the existing Gypsy site.

“Mendip has failed to comply with the requirements to demonstrate an up-to-date five-year supply of deliverable sites to meet the accommodation needs of gypsies and travellers,” he said.

“Given the need for gypsy and traveller sites in the Mendip District, this application represents an opportunity for the local planning authority to help meet this pressing need without expense to anyone other than the applicant.”

At Lester Morrill, our solicitors are highly experienced in working with the Roma and Gypsy Traveller community and have acted in a number of high profile cases across the country, including Dale Farm and Meriden. To find out more about how our Public Law team can assist you, please contact us today.