Review bid over St Albans gipsy sites

PUBLISHED: 08:39 27 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:22 06 May 2010

A JUDICIAL Review is being sought by St Albans council over the controversial proposal to increase the number of gipsy pitches in the district by 33. The decision was taken yesterday after legal advice had been sought by the council s planning portfolio h

A JUDICIAL Review is being sought by St Albans council over the controversial proposal to increase the number of gipsy pitches in the district by 33.

The decision was taken yesterday after legal advice had been sought by the council's planning portfolio holder, Cllr Chris Brazier.

It follows the council's success in challenging housing figures for nearby Welwyn-Hatfield and Dacorum councils which would have allowed them to reach their targets by building over their borders into St Albans.

The East of England Regional Assembly (EERA) proposed increasing the number of pitches in the district by an additional 33 on top of the 52 already in existence. It was upheld following an Examination In Public even though St Albans would have far more pitches than the other councils in Herts.

Cllr Brazier said the council would be asking EERA to prove their figures and what they meant by need as there were already 52 pitches in the district. They would also be questioning why so many extra pitches had to be in St Albans when there were far fewer existing and proposed pitches in other parts of the county.

He added: "I am saying they are plucking figures out of the air and there has been no proper thought."

The decision to pursue a Judicial Review had to be submitted by tomorrow (Friday) and there are now 14 days in which to give reasons why it is being sought.


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