Update 22 May 2020
On 21 May 2020 the Honourable Mrs Justice Lang DBE granted the council permission to proceed with its planning statutory review claim. The council is pleased the court has found there is an arguable case that justifies full investigation of the substantive merits. The council will now prepare its case for the hearing which is currently listed for 2 days. No date has yet been set but we will provide a further update once this has been confirmed.
Update 13 March 2020
Yesterday, Thursday 12th March 2020, the council filed and lodged with the High Court a legal challenge under s.288 of the Town and County Planning Act 1990 in respect of the decision of the Planning Inspectorate dated 4th February 2020 to grant planning permission for a change of use of land to 10 pitches accommodating the siting of 10 mobile homes and stationing of 10 touring caravans and 10 utility buildings and formation of access road and hardstanding at Land off Chapel Lane, Letty Green, Little Hadham. All relevant parties to the proceedings have been served.
The council were and remain extremely disappointed of the decision of PINS in respect of this site and have submitted a robust legal challenge.
Update 21 January 2020
The Public Inquiry for a change of use of land to 10 Gypsy/Traveller pitches accommodating the siting of 10 mobile homes and stationing of 10 touring caravans and 10 utility buildings, formation of access road and hardstandings closed on the 10th December 2019 with a site visit on 11th December 2019.
The Planning Inspectorate (PINS) was expected to issue its decision on or before 21st January 2020. However, the council have today (21st January) received confirmation from PINS via email stating the following, “Unfortunately the Inspector is not able to issue her decision by the target date of 21st January 2020. This is in part due to the inquiry’s adjournment. We do not anticipate a significant delay and expect to issue the decision no later than 4th February 2020.” This delay is outside of the council’s control but we will continue to issue updates as and when we have them.
Update 26 September 2019
Yesterday (Tuesday 24th September 2019) HHJ Judge Graham Wood QC imposed sentences upon the Defendants of 12 weeks imprisonment but suspended for 12 months.
The Judge did not require the Defendants to leave the site immediately pending their planning appeal. The appeal will take place in November 2019 with an expected outcome to be decided in January 2020.
Whilst this is not the preferred outcome, the Council remain committed to seeking a successful resolution for the residents in the District.
Update 5 September 2019
Following a hard fought case by our legal team, today (5 September), HHJ Graham Wood QC delivered his verdict and we are pleased to confirm that the defendants were found in breach of the Injunction and that their application to vary/discharge the Injunction, granted by Mr Justice Lane on 20th April 2019, was dismissed.
The defendants have been ordered to leave the site and failure to do so will be taken into account at their sentencing hearing later this month.
Linda Haysey, Leader, East Herts Council said: "We are delighted with today's outcome. We take unlawful development in our district very seriously and I hope this will deter anyone else from acting without planning permission in future. I would like to thank all those involved for their dedication and hard work on this case."
For a full set of FAQs around the unauthorised work at Little Hadham, please see the Little Hadham page