Appeal over gypsy and traveller site in Bletsoe is thrown out


A planning appeal for a gypsy and traveller site at Waiting for the Sun Farm in Bletsoe has been dismissed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Temporary permission for a caravan site with four pitches was granted for three years at appeal in 2009.

A new application was received in 2012 to make the site permanent and was considered at a public inquiry after being refused by Bedford Borough Council.

The Secretary of State’s decision was made on 1 October this year. His report stated: “Having balanced these potential equality impacts against the conflicts with the development plan policies and the imminent provision of an alternative suitable site to meet the need of the appellants, the Secretary of State is of the view that his decision to dismiss the appeal is proportionate and justified in the circumstances.”

In view of this decision, the council issued an injunction last Monday, October 6, preventing further caravans, mobile homes or other forms of residential accommodation on the land.

This is to prevent additional gypsies and travellers living on the site before further action is taken to stop the use and restore the land.

Cllr Anita Gerard, chairwoman of Bedford Borough’s Planning Committee, said: “I welcome the decision of the Secretary of State to dismiss the appeal for the proposed gypsy and traveller site at Waiting For The Sun Farm. The council will look to secure compliance with its enforcement notice relating to this unauthorised development.”