The long running and hard fought case of Mr Wenman and Waverley Borough Council has finally drawn to a conclusion, with Inspector Philip Major allowing the appeal and granting a permanent planning permission. Mr Wenman had previously had his appeal dismissed, but that was overturned by the Planning Court in a significant judgment by Lang J in which she found that caravans and mobile homes do constitute "housing" for the purposes of the NPPF, contrary to the submission of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. This led to the Written Ministerial Statement of July 2015 seemingly excluding members of the travelling community from the provisions of paragraph 49 NPPF. The Secretary of State sought to challenge the judgment of the Planning Court but withdrew their appeal just days before the Court of Appeal hearing.
In the latest appeal decision Inspector Major comments at paragraph 30 that he considers that the Written Ministerial Statement may well be a discriminatory measure, under the Equality Act 2010, but in the circumstances of the case was not required to make such a determination. This long running case is significant for the judgment of Lang J, which is referenced in the eponymous Suffolk Coastal case, and for the Inspector's comments in respect of Equality Act 2010. Michael Rudd, instructed by Green Planning Studio Limited, represented Mr Wenman throughout the Planning Court and Court of Appeal proceedings and in the redetermination public inquiry. The appeal decision can be found here.
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