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Newent gypsies allowed to stay after High Court appeal dismissed

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 07, 2014

The site in Southend Lane

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THE final nail has been hammered in to efforts to get gypsies evicted from land in Newent.

A saga that has lasted almost four years appears to be at an end after Forest of Dean District Council’s challenge in the High Court was emphatically dismissed.

One Newent resident, who had previously fought for the eviction, said it was “disappointing but a relief” to finally have a definitive conculsion.

Craig Grewcock is the co-chairman of Newent Residents Against Inappropriate Development (RAID).

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“We were told all along the appeal was on an entirely legal issue, it was just a technicality,” he said.

“We are still against inappropriate development but we aren’t really surprised about this and we’re relieved that it’s finally come to an end. We’ve heard from the people in Southend Lane and they’ve assured us they want to be good neighbours, and so do we.”

The council took its fight to court after a Government planning inspector had already over-ruled its original decision to refuse retrosepctive planning permission for 13 caravan pitches on land at Southend Lane.

It said the inspector had “misdirected himself” where the site’s impact on nearby listed buildings was concerned. But the judge at November’s High Court hearing, Mr Justice Lindblom, was unswayed. His judgement read: “The inspector’s conclusions on this issue were, in my view, conspicuously thorough and clear, and are beyond criticism in proceedings such as these.

“The inspector did not neglect any consideration that was relevant, nor have regard to any that was not.”

Councillor Patrick Molyneux, leader of the district council, said: “The council is disappointed with the outcome of the challenge, believing it had good grounds on which to go forward. At this stage we do not propose to take any further action to challenge the planning permission.”

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