Judge dismisses Colney Heath traveller site appeal

A SENIOR judge has dismissed a bid by a traveller to challenge a High Court decision stripping him of planning permission to live on a Green Belt site. Peter Robb, who lives in three caravans at Nuckies Farm in Colney Heath, was hoping to overturn a High

A SENIOR judge has dismissed a bid by a traveller to challenge a High Court decision stripping him of planning permission to live on a Green Belt site.

Peter Robb, who lives in three caravans at Nuckies Farm in Colney Heath, was hoping to overturn a High Court decision last April which quashed the granting of a temporary five-year planning permission issued by a Government inspector.

But yesterday Lord Justice Aikens dismissed an application by Mr Robb to contest the decision and ruled that he did not have an "arguable" case to justify a full appeal hearing.

Mr Robb has been a thorn in the side of Colney Heath parish council since he moved to Nuckies Farm but the council scored a victory in the High Court last year when Deputy High Court Judge Tim Corner rescinded the planning permission given to Mr Robb in January 2008 when he appealed against refusal by St Albans council.


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The inspector considered that the need Mr Robb's family had for a place to live, coupled with the fact that there were unlikely to be any alternative sites available for gipsies or travellers within four or five years, justified the granting of temporary permission for five years.

Colney Heath parish council challenged that decision in the High Court and won the ruling quashing the planning permission.

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The parish council argued that the temporary permission was given against the wishes of both themselves and St Albans district council. It also claimed there had been a long history of unlawful development on the site by gipsies and travellers and that it had actively opposed any such development on the site for years.

Deputy Judge Corner ruled that the inspector had failed adequately to deal with the important question of the impact the development of Nuckies Farm might have on the surrounding flood plain.

He asked the then Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Hazel Blears to consider whether the case should be reconsidered by a different inspector.

Colney Heath parish councillor and St Albans planning portfolio holder, Cllr Chris Brazier, said that this week's hearing was Mr Robb's final attempt to overturn the decision and he had wasted the court's time because it had been thrown straight out.

The parish council is now looking at action to remove Mr Robb and his family because they are illegally living on the land.

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