Public inquiry - 21/00623/ENF - Brook End Nurseries

The appeal is made by Mr M Connors on behalf of himself and other travellers occupying the site against an enforcement notice issued by the Council.

The council’s enforcement reference is 21/00623/ENF. The Planning Inspectorate’s appeal reference is APP/Y0435/C/21/3289543

Following concerns raised by the Council over the validity of the appeal, the Planning Inspectorate has amended the start date for the appeal to 21st April 2022. An updated notification letter has been circulated to interested parties, and this and all previous correspondence sent by the Council can be found in the document library for this appeal.

What is the position of the Council on the appeal? 

The Enforcement Notice was served in December 2021 in respect of the following alleged breaches of planning control

  • a change of use for the stationing of mobile homes and caravans for human habitation 
  • operational development in the form of the laying of tarmac and hard surfaces
  • the erection of a close board fence and concrete posts over 1 metre in height and adjacent to the highway 
  • the removal of in excess of approx. 45 metres of hedgerow
  • the installation of a septic tank and waste pipes
  • the installation of wooden poles for the purposes of electrical lighting along the eastern boundary

The council considers these as acts of development which are not immune from enforcement action, and sets out requirements to rectify the breaches of planning control. These are set out in the enforcement notice. 

The council contends that the development would conflict with several policies of Plan:MK and national planning policy as set out in the Framework and the Planning Policy for Traveller Sites

Why has an appeal been made? 

Mr M Connors is appealing against the enforcement notice. The appeal was confirmed as valid and started on 24 January 2022. 

The appeal is made on the following grounds, as specified under legislation

(a) that planning permission ought to be granted for the development

(c) one or more of the matters specified in the notice do not constitute a breach of planning control

(f) the steps required to comply with the notice are excessive and lesser steps would overcome the objections

(g) the compliance period specified in the notice is too short

The Planning Inspectorate has confirmed that the appeal will be handled by way of a public inquiry. It will appoint a Planning Inspector and advise on when the inquiry will open in due course. Further guidance on appeals, and how to get involved, are available from the Planning Inspectorate’s website. 

What is the role of the Planning Inspectorate?   

Planning appeals are managed and determined by the Planning Inspectorate, on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. The Inspectorate will appoint an independent Inspector to consider the evidence presented by the appellant, the Council and interested parties, and provide a decision (or recommendation to the Secretary of State if the matter is called in by them). 

What is the enforcement appeal process? 

The enforcement appeal process starts with the opportunity for interested parties to submit written representations to the Inspector. The Council is required to notify occupiers of properties near the appeal site and any other persons who, in their opinion, are affected by the breach of planning control. Interested persons should submit their representations to the Inspectorate by 7th June 2022 (6 weeks from the start date) through the Planning Inspectorate’s website.  

Comments previously made by interested parties will be taken into account by the Inspectorate. It is not necessary to submit comments again unless it is felt necessary to amend, supplement or withdraw them.

The council, in its capacity as the local planning authority, will prepare a skeleton Statement of Case. 

Should interested parties wish to be involved in a formal capacity during the inquiry itself, then they should give consideration to applying for formal ‘Rule 6’ status. Any Rule 6 party must be able to present written and oral evidence to the inquiry and bear the costs of doing so. They should be prepared to examine the evidence put forward by others involved and enter into a Statement of Common Ground if requested to do so. The timescales specified by the Inspector must be followed. 

Four weeks before the inquiry opens, the appellant, council and any Rule 6 party must provide their evidence, upon which they base their arguments, and agreed Statements of Common Ground. Further written submissions are not normally accepted after this date. 

When the inquiry opens, the Inspector will determine the manner in which evidence is to be heard. A site visit will usually follow the hearing of evidence, although no evidence or opinion will be heard during the visit. The Inspector will then normally issue their written decision in a specified timeframe, either dismissing the appeal and upholding the Notice (refusing permission) or allow the appeal and quashing the notice (granting permission for the development or finding that it is immune from enforcement action). The decision will be published on the Inspectorate’s website

If you need to know more about the procedure, you can contact the Inspectorate’s case officer, Alice Maurice, by email at teame1@planninginspectorate.gov.uk or by leaving a telephone message on 0303 444 5000. 

Where can I view the appeal documents? 

The appeal documents are available for inspection here. This library has been created so that it can be added to as the appeal proceeds and relevant deadlines are reached. It will also contain the ‘Core Documents’ – a library of relevant and shared documents, such as planning policy and technical studies relevant to the site. 

Attending the inquiry 

As soon as the date, time and venue for the inquiry is known (and whether it is to be held in person and/or virtually), this section will be updated.  

What if I feel unable to take part? 

If you want to take an active part but feel unable to for any reason, or the points you want to make are not covered in the evidence of others, consider whether someone else could raise them on your behalf.

 

Planning Enquiries

Planning Enquiries contact information

Civic, 1 Saxon Gate East, Milton Keynes MK9 3EJ