Basildon Council has decided against determining a planning application that sought to retrospectively allow six caravan pitches on land west of Hovefields Avenue.
The site is already subject to an injunction initially obtained in August last year forbidding the defendants from stationing any more caravans than the five reported to be on the land at that time. There is shortly to be another hearing at the High Court to consider breaches of this order.
The planning application received on 4 April 2017 sought to retrospectively change the use of the green belt land to residential purposes, creating “6 traveller pitches together with ancillary hardstanding.”
Under planning law, the local planning authority can choose to decline to determine a retrospective planning application where planning enforcement notices exist. A change in the law allowing this discretion was made in 2011 with the intention of preventing retrospective planning applications from being used to delay enforcement action.
Basildon Council issued Enforcement Notices on the 18 August 2016 to restore the land to its previous state. These notices were then subject of appeals from the previous owner but these were subsequently withdrawn.
The next hearing concerning the breaches of the injunction has been scheduled for Wednesday 7 June at the High Court.