Stop the Development at Haytop!
Whatstandwell and Alderwasley Community Action Group (WACAG)
Letter to residents – September 2019
Greetings, residents. We have put pen to paper once again to update you on the latest developments at Haytop Country Park with this, our latest edition of the WACAG newsletter.
As mentioned previously, the two Enforcement Notices (ENs) issued by AVBC on 15 March are being appealed by the owners of Haytop. The Planning Inspectorate (PI) has since confirmed that they have also received appeals from other parties who have bought lodges and are living on-site, apparently without planning permission. The PI has provided the following information (as of 27 June 2019):
- some appeals have been checked and validated, some not
- no start dates have been assigned yet. This is likely to happen early January 2020 (currently, the average timescale from an appeal being received and a start date being assigned is about 40 weeks)
- interested parties may make representation to the Planning Inspector (PI) once the start date and PI have been assigned
- the case is complex and as such it is highly likely that it will go to an Inquiry. Interested parties can attend the Inquiry (held locally, possibly Council Offices or County Hall)
- the time taken from receipt of the appeals to a decision being made is likely to take 1-1.5 years!
Secondly, a First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) was held at Derby Court Centre on 21 June, in which the owners of Haytop appealed a decision by the local authority (AVBC) not to issue a site licence (full details of the Decision can be found at https://wacag.info/documents/).
Whilst the Tribunal allowed the appeal, and AVBC were directed to issue a site licence, it is encouraging that the judge was of the opinion that the local authority is entitled to impose conditions restricting the use of the site to “the use it considers to be permissible under the existing planning consents benefitting the site, and to impose any other conditions it reasonably considers appropriate”. Other encouraging findings detailed in the Tribunal findings are:
- The existing planning permissions are inextricably linked. Together they allow for 60 caravans, with half being restricted to occasional/seasonal and the other half not. Those restricted to occasional/seasonal use are required to be designed and constructed for “drawing by private cars” and the other thirty had consent “for towing use”.
- They agree that AVBC is “not obliged to grant a licence to allow the site to be used in such a way as would breach what it regards as the current correct planning consent”, and “would be entitled to impose conditions, if it wished, regarding the type of caravan permitted, and the layout it considers appropriate”.
- They do not consider that the 1952 consent on its face permits the type of caravans proposed by the site’s owner, although they acknowledge this is a planning dispute.
- That, “to develop a site with thirty substantial twin-units, which would result in a permanent residential development of what are to all intents and purposes residential bungalows, is quite against the spirit of the reasoning set out in the 1966 consent.”
- The court was of the view that the owners of Haytop “demonstrated incompetence or worse”, and “repeatedly breached statutory obligations and restrictions” (ignoring stop notices and enforcement notices), shown a “disregard of the licensing (and probably the planning) regulations”, and “acted reprehensibly” with regards to marketing lodges for sale as residential units.
We have been informed that AVBC has made an appeal to the Upper Tribunal Chambers regarding the outcome of the First-tier Tribunal. They have applied for a stay which means no site licence will be issued until the outcome of the new appeal.
Thirdly, the application, AVA/2019/0268 (Certificate of Lawfulness of a Proposed Use or Development (CLOPUD) for the siting of 30 static caravans for permanent residential occupation and 30 static caravans for 12-month holiday occupation) has been refused by AVBC (decision notice issued 10 September and available to view on the planning portal). This is excellent news and we thank all those that submitted objections to this application. However, the applicant can appeal to the Secretary of State if he does not agree with the decision. We will let residents know if this happens.
What can you do?
1. The Planning Inspectorate will decide whether to uphold the two ENs or to strike them out. In making their decision they will consider information and written evidence from the owners of Haytop, the Local Planning Authority (LPA) and anyone else, who, like you, has an interest in the appeal. This will cover a wide range of issues, like the existing planning permissions, historical use, as well as relevant sections of the National Policy Planning Framework and the Local Plan, and of course all of the issues set out in the LPA’s reasons for issuing the ENs.
This is where you can help. After the start date has been assigned, AVBC may contact you to tell you about the appeal. However, do not worry if you are not contacted, as you can still make your views known. All interested parties can write to the Planning Inspector explaining why the two ENs should be upheld, one for a breach of planning, where there is no planning permission for what is in effect a change of use (stationing of residential caravans that are not designed for towing by a car), and the second which relates to all of the engineering/infrastructure works carried out to date.
Later this year, we will distribute a further resident’s letter, outlining how you can submit your views to the PI, and help or get involved with the Public Inquiry. The letter will also provide links to useful websites such as the Government website and that of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) and useful documents and information like the Planning Inspectorate ‘Guide to taking part in enforcement appeals and lawful development certificate appeals proceeding by written representations – England.
2. We have previously mentioned raising another petition against the development at Haytop. This is intended to show the strength of local opposition to the current development at the site and will be presented to the Planning Inspector in relation to the appeal, as well as being used against any inappropriate future planning application(s). We shall soon be visiting everyone in the communities of Whatstandwell and Alderwasley with the new petition and hope as many of you who signed the first one will sign this second petition.
3. Finally, we launched a ‘crowd fund‘ in May to help meet the cost of legal advice provided by Mr Paul Brown QC (Landmark Chambers, London), kindly financed by one of our residents. We thank all of those that have contributed. To date the appeal has raised £1455 of the current £2400 target allowing us to reimburse in part this person. We would like to be able to reimburse the full amount and also raise further monies to help the campaign obtain further legal advice.
If you are able to make a contribution, please contact us (email@example.com) for information on how to make a donation, or visit the crowdfunding page http://www.gofundme.com/stop-haytop-country-park-redevelopment. All donations are most gratefully received.
Do not forget, when granting the 1966 permission the council specifically stated that ‘the site is not felt to be suitable as a permanent residential caravan site.’
Thank you once again for taking the time to read this letter.
Stop the Development at Haytop!