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First Secretary of State v Robert Simmons [2005] EWCA Civ 1295

The secretary of state was entitled to conclude on the evidence that "very special circumstances" that would have justified inappropriate development in a green belt land had not been established. Accordingly, he had been entitled to uphold an enforcement notice issued by the local authority requiring the respondent to discontinue use of the green belt land as a private gypsy caravan site.

11 November 2005

The appellants, secretary of state and a local authority, appealed against the decision ([2005] EWHC 287 (Admin)) quashing a decision of the secretary of state upholding an enforcement notice issued by the local authority requiring the respondent (S) to discontinue use of a green belt land for stationing caravans. The enforcement notice was issued on the basis that the use of the land as a private gypsy caravan site constituted development that was inappropriate in the green belt. The secretary of state accepted that there was an unmet need for gypsy sites in the local area, but he did not regard that factor alone was sufficient in itself to amount to "very special circumstances" justifying inappropriate development in the green belt under the Planning Policy Guidance 2 (1995) para 3. The secretary of state concluded that there was no clear evidence of any real effort being made by S to find alternative sites, and that the lack of evidence of a search for other sites weighed against S'...

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