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West Bridgford
Friday, 27 November 2020

Travelling community win legal battle to remain on Newark land

PUBLISHED

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A group of travellers has won the latest leg of an ongoing legal battle to remain on land in Newark.

However there remains a distance for them to go in their legal dispute.

In London this week, the High Court considered an appeal against the Planning Inspectorate’s decision to uphold an enforcement notice against a group of travellers on the Winthorpe Road site, near the A46 on the outskirts of Newark.

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The enforcement notice, issued by Newark and Sherwood District Council, required the occupiers of the site to cease the use for residential occupation and remove everything from the land.

However this was appealed to the High Court, which was not convinced that the Planning Inspector, appointed on behalf of the government to make the decision, had given enough weight to the council not having a five year supply of Gypsy and Traveller sites.

The High Court therefore quashed the decision and the Planning Inspectorate now has a right to appeal.

The Planning Inspectorate has said it is awaiting a copy of the High Court judgement before a decision is made on whether to appeal.

If they do not appeal, the local planning appeal hearing will be re-heard at a later date. This will be agreed by the Planning Inspectorate with the council and the appellants.

Councillor Roger Blaney, Newark and Sherwood District Council planning committee Chairman, said: “We feel it isn’t appropriate to comment on the individual case and the circumstances of those involved while the process is still ongoing.

“We will wait for the Planning Inspectorate’s decision and respond accordingly.”

A spokesman for the Planning Inspectorate said: “The quality and accuracy of our decisions is very important to the Planning Inspectorate. We have been informed of the judgement and awaiting a copy of the Court Order before deciding whether to seek leave to appeal.”

“If leave to appeal the judgement is not sought, the case will be returned to The Planning Inspectorate for redetermination.”

A statement from Conservative-controlled Newark and Sherwood District Council said: “Maintaining a deliverable five-year supply of gypsy and traveller sites is challenging for many local authorities across England.

“Newark and Sherwood council already has one of the highest number of authorised gypsy and traveller pitches in the country with existing approved and long-established sites being an important part of the wider community.

“The council continues to be committed to finding future sites and has stated that 118 pitches are required by 2033 to ensure the wellbeing of its gypsy and traveller community in the future.

“Landowners can submit any size of land and the Council is happy to discuss plans with land owners over the phone (01636 650000), via email (planningpolicy@nsdc.info) or online via its website at: www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/planningpolicy/gtcallforsites/.

Councillor Blaney, who represents the Trent ward for the Conservatives, added: “Local landowners are currently being asked to put their land forward for consideration as potential gypsy and traveller sites.

“Such land must not be constrained by issues such as flood risk.

“Alongside this, the council will continue to consider individual planning applications from all sections of the community including the gypsy and traveller community, both before and after these allocations are made.

“Any application will be considered on its own merit.”