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Taxpayers forced to pay costs over gipsy refusal

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 12, 2014

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TAXPAYERS have lost a fight to claim back costs wasted after an appeal to create a gipsy site was refused.

South Derbyshire District Council and Patrick Maloney made an application against each other for an award of costs relating to an appeal to change the use of land off The Castle Way, Willington, into a gipsy site.

However, despite the gipsy site proposals being refused by the council and again at appeal by an independent government inspector, the council will not be allowed to claim back costs from Mr Maloney. Instead, it is made to pay partial costs to Mr Maloney.

In a report to Gareth Symons, planning inspector, the council said: “The appellant (Mr Maloney) was unforthcoming in evidence. He did not provide items asked for, there was no clarity and he did not justify certain matters.”

It claimed drainage issues were not resolved by the appellant until just before the appeal statements were due. It added that there was no proper noise assessment, and that the appellant’s transport assessment was done two months before the deadline.

In his response Mr Maloney said: “A phone call to the Environment Agency (EA) with the commitment to connect to the public sewer was all that was needed for the EA to withdraw its objection. There was no need to assess detailed matters.”

He also said he did seek to the resolve a highway issue but said: “The council was clearly going to refuse the application anyway and so it would have been unreasonable for the agent to incur the expense of a noise assessment.”

While saying the drainage issue could have been resolved by the appellant earlier in the process, Mr Symons said it could have been dealt with by a planning condition to connect to the sewer.

Regarding highway safety, Mr Symons said: “Given the concessions made by Highways it is clear that the onus was on the council and Highways to reach an agreed position and not the appellant. “

The inspector admitted he was not satisfied that the noise issue had been solved, but said references by the appellant to British Standards of insulation that mobile homes have to conform to and a noise mitigation strategy, was respectable.

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