The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames challenged an Inspector’s decision which found that the material change of use of land to a private gypsy and traveller site did not constitute inappropriate development because it fell within the exception in para 150(e) which provides for “material changes in the use of land (such as changes of use for outdoor sport or recreation, or for cemeteries and burial grounds)”. The Secretary of State did not resist the claim, conceding that the Inspector’s decision was wrong because he misdirected himself regarding the application of Policy E of the Planning Policy for Traveller Sites which provides that: “Traveller sites (temporary or permanent) in the Green Belt are inappropriate development.” However, the applicant for planning permission continued to resist the challenge, arguing that the Secretary of State’s concession was not only wrong, but resulted in discrimination towards gypsies and travellers.
In her conclusions, Lieven J agreed with the Claimant that the Inspector’s approach was wrong because, at its simplest, he failed to take into account para 4 of the NPPF which states that it must be read in conjunction with the PPTS. Furthermore, she held that residential uses do not fall within para 150(e) in any event: the “such as” list not being an open ended category. Accordingly, the discrimination argument did not arise.
Annabel Graham Paul successfully acted for the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, as sole counsel for the bringing of the claim which the Secretary of State did not resist, and subsequently led by Daniel Kolinsky KC of Landmark Chambers at the hearing. She was instructed by Byron Britten of the South London Legal Partnership. Hugh Flanagan acted for the Secretary of State.