The Secretary of State has overturned an Inspector’s recommendation in dismissing appeals for a gypsy caravan site in the Green Belt near Sevenoaks. Stephen Hinsley, Senior Director at Tetlow King Planning, provided expert planning for Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council at the public inquiry; and was therefore ultimately successful in defending the Council’s decision to refuse planning permission and issue enforcement notices.
The Secretary of State disagreed with the Inspector that the scale of need was underestimated due to the needs assessment not having been subject to detailed scrutiny through the DPD process. He also disagreed with the Inspector that the personal circumstances and unmet need was sufficient to outweigh the harm to the Green Belt. He also commented that there was a reasonable prospect of other suitable sites coming forward and that meeting such needs would be planned for eventually via the local plan process.