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THUMBS DOWN FOR CARAVAN SITE IN 'STRATEGIC' GREEN BELT

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A decision by Slough BC to refuse planning permission for a caravan park in a 'strategic' green belt has been endor...
A decision by Slough BC to refuse planning permission for a caravan park in a 'strategic' green belt has been endorsed by the High Court.

Deputy judge Andrew Gilbart backed a government decision to uphold the council's refusal of permission for 100 caravans to provide accommodation for construction workers on the new terminal five at Heathrow Airport.

The project's backer had asked the court judge to quash the inspector's decision and order the local government secretary to have the scheme reconsidered.

The court was told that unauthorised caravans were originally sited there in July 2002. The council issued an enforcement notice as it was in breach of planning control.

The owner then sought temporary permission for a change of use of the land from agricultural to residential caravan use, with 100 caravans, hard-surfacing, car parking, seven facility buildings, two electrical switch rooms, fencing, landscaping, a gate house and a sub-station for a three-year period.

However, first the council then the inspector refused him permission. The inspector, in the decision that was challenged, found that it would amount to a 'substantial and notably urbanising form of development to the significant detriment of the openness of the area'.

He added that the site was in a 'strategic' green belt between Slough and Greater London, which had been identified as being an area where the London green belt was 'at its most fragmented and vulnerable'.

Judge Gilbart ruled that although there was a strong case on need, the weight to be attached to that was for the inspector to decide, bearing in mind there was also a strong case on harm.

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Housing, planning & environment

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