Gypsy wins appeal to keep mobile home at Birdham

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AN enforcement notice to remove a mobile home from land in Birdham was quashed at appeal.

Chris Milford initially sought retrospective planning permission for the siting of one mobile home and an outbuilding for gypsy use, on the land at Cowdray Nursery.

But in April 2012, Chichester District Council, refused the plans, and ordered him to remove the mobile home, stop using the land for storage, and to demolish a utility block on the land.

Part of the reason behind the council’s decision was it did not define Mr Milford as a gypsy or traveller.

But at appeal, the planning inspector Richard Perrins concluded ‘the appellant is a gypsy by definition’. This meant policy related to gypsies and travellers must be taken into account at appeal.

The fact there are very few travellers sites in the district, and ‘the current development plan is silent on the provision of gypsy and traveller sites’, weighed heavily in the favour of the appellant.

“It was accepted by the council that there are no alternative sites,” said 
Mr Perrins. “The council’s witness accepted it may be another four or five years before any site provision comes forward.”

Despite local opposition and the site having a ‘detrimental impact’ on the appearance of the area, the planning inspector granted the appeal, and said it would go towards the council’s quota for traveller sites in the area.

The planning inspector quashed the enforcement notice from the district council, and granted planning permission to Mr Milford to station the mobile home and outbuilding on the land.

Mr Milford also applied for costs against the council, but this was refused.