Billington Gypsy and Traveller consultation

Planning enforcement issues at The Stables and Greenacre Gypsy and Traveller sites, Billington

We originally refused the planning application for these sites but planning permission was granted from the Planning Inspectorate on appeal in 2003.

The planning conditions that the Planning Inspector attached to the sites are not robust enough to enable us to take enforcement action against breaches. We cannot regulate the sites using the usual planning powers and over time this has led to several issues.

Enforcement is also complicated because it is unclear who owns the land now and there is no definitive list of who is entitled to live on the sites. Originally, the whole site was owned by one person. Since then, land and plots have been sub-divided and sold on with far less clarity around who owns plots on the sites and many of the ownership transfers have not been officially registered.

Several plots do not have the necessary planning permissions and licenses. We know there are more people living on the sites than there should be. The original permissions granted across the two sites were for 56 pitches / plots. In January 2017, there were 96 pitches / plots.

The sites are designated for Gypsy and Traveller residents only. However, we are aware that mobile homes and caravans are being rented out as affordable housing and there are now a number of people living on the site, who are not Gypsy and Travellers, having responded in good faith to rental adverts.