On 9 April, representing the HEA, Anne Swinson appeared at the Public Inquiry at Three Rivers District Council in the case for a travellers’ site involving 12 caravans and the conversion of the existing stable block into six day rooms. Subsequently, the Inspector recommended allowing the appeal for a temporary period of three years but the Secretary of State would have the last word as it was a travellers’ site in the Green Belt.
On 20 November the Secretary of State dismissed the appeal that “on balance the harm to the Green Belt by reason of inappropriate development, loss of openness, and conflict with two of the purposes of including land in the Green Belt, to prevent encroachment and neighbouring settlements from merging, together with harm to the character and appearance of the area, is not clearly outweighed by other consideration sufficient to constitute very special circumstances necessary to justify a permanent planning permission”.
The Secretary of State then considered a temporary permission but concluded the harms would still be substantial caused to the Green Belt purpose of preventing neighbouring settlements (Hatch End and Carpenders Park) from merging. The Appellant had six weeks to decide whether to challenge the decision in the High Court. This time has now lapsed with no further action on their part.