Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Gypsy family wins right to live on greenfield site between Redruth and Truro - Cornwall

From This Is Cornwall

A Gypsy family has won the right to live on a piece of land between Portreath and Porthtowan.

A Government inspector decided that Cornwall Council was wrong to refuse permission for Gary Emmins, his wife Shelley and daughter Sadie to live on a piece of greenfield land between Porthtowan and Portreath.

And planning inspector Gerry Hollington judged that the “substantial unmet need” for additional Gypsy and Traveller sites in Cornwall had a significant impact on his decision.

Cornwall Council refused permission to Gary Emmins for the change of use of land to a residential caravan site for one family at Pirates, Mile Hill in June 2011.

The development included the siting of a static mobile home, a touring caravan, a portable building and the erection of a day room.

At the planning hearing in March, Mr Hollington described the key issues as whether Mr Emmins was truly a Gypsy, whether the development was sustainable in such a rural location, the effect of the development on highway safety and the neighbouring area, and whether the shortage of alternative Gypsy sites outweighed planning policies.

In his judgement released this week, Mr Hollington concluded that Mr Emmins satisfied the definition of “Gypsies and Travellers”, because he had continued to follow a “sufficiently nomadic habit of life”.

He said that the location was not ideal in sustainability terms, but was “sufficiently sustainable” for it to be acceptable.

The development would create some highway safety issues, but “the degree of harm would be limited by the small size of the site” and the likelihood of car use, rather than walking.

Mr Hollington accepted that the development would be detrimental to the character of the countryside, but said this would be mitigated by the imposition of suitable conditions and refusal of the portable building.

He noted that there was a need in Cornwall to provide a further 146 Gypsy and Traveller pitches by 2020 to achieve a government target of 237.

“It is clear, therefore, that there is a substantial and urgent need for the provision of additional Gypsy and Traveller pitches in Cornwall.

“This is a matter of considerable weight in favour of the appeal proposal,” he said.

In granting Mr Emmins’ appeal, Mr Hollington imposed a number of conditions.

The site may only be occupied by Gypsies and Travellers, up to a maximum of two caravans.

No commercial activities will be allowed on the land.

see also: The West Briton - Inspector backs Gypsy family in its appeal over plans to live on plot

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