Postponement of the hearing update

As if the never ending saga of the Traveller encampment wasn’t frustrating enough, we have just received an email from the Planning Inspector informing us that the hearing originally planned for the 27th/28th of April will be postponed.

The reason for this is that the Inspector feels that she needs to be able to see the site personally and that current Covid restriction mean that this will not be possible until after June 21st. As such she is proposing that the hearing should be heard some time in July by which time it is hoped that all restrictions will be lifted. Further details can be found at Inspectorate’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance.

At this stage it looks like the hearing will still be held in Silchester Village Hall but we can only await further confirmation from the Inspector. In the meantime, we still encourage you all to get in any last minute objections as per our previous emails.

Very frustrating, but after four years of continual postponement this is something we are now very used to. We will keep you posted of any further developments

Steve Spillane and Simon Mahaffey.

Calleva Society

TRAVELLER APPEAL FOR LAND OFF CULHAMS MILL – SILCHESTER REF: APPEAL REFERENCE 3210244: LAND AT RAPIERS, LITTLE LONDON ROAD, SILCHESTER

TRAVELLER APPEAL FOR LAND OFF CULHAMS MILL – SILCHESTER REF: APPEAL REFERENCE 3210244: LAND AT RAPIERS, LITTLE LONDON ROAD, SILCHESTER, 

We now have the details of the final decision process regarding the travellers Appeal. The result of this process is that the Travellers will be given permission to live on the site or denied planning permission and access.

The Inspector has proposed instead of a full Inquiry a hybrid solution whereby the hearing will be primarily heard by written representation and partly through a face to face hearing which will be held in Silchester Village Hall on 27th/28th of April 2021.

This proposal has been accepted by all parties and the Inspector will require written depositions from all parties by the 16th March.  This includes representations from local residents.

BDBC will be writing to residents to formally notify them of the procedure and provide associated dates.

The Planning Inspector will make her final decision on the outcome of this appeal following the hearing on the 27th/28th April.  

CALL TO ACTION: 

The unauthorised occupation and development of the water meadow off Culhams Mill first took place almost four years ago!  It has been a long hard slog since then by many people within our community.  However, largely through the solidarity shown by residents of Silchester and Little London, we have managed to ensure that occupation of the site has, thus far, been prevented.

We are now on the last leg of this and we hope that, with one final effort, will put an end to this dispute once and for all.

The current Inquiry process is being held by the Planning Inspectorate for England and Wales (sometimes known as PINS).  This operates independently from the BDBC planning process and the original objections through the BDBC planning portal are not automatically carried over.  

As such, whilst the original planning application received 248 objections, the Planning Inspector has only received on 53 thus far.

If you still feel strongly about the development of the water meadow at Culhams Mill into a 13 pitch caravan site for Travellers and Gypsies and would like your voice to be heard then we encourage you to register your objection.

Instead of (hopefully) hundreds of you writing to the inspector with our template or your own letter you can sign up in support of our objection  at www.callevasociety.org/appeal.

The details to be collected are Name, Address and email. We will  then pass these on to the Inspector.

You can still send your own letter or our template by email to

Mr Ben White, Case Officer. 

TeamE3@planninginspectorate.gov.uk

The PINS appeal reference for this is “Appeal Reference 3210244: Land at Rapiers, Little London Road, Silchester,”. 

All submissions should be by the 16th March at the latest. 

As before, there is no need for objections to come from just within the community; they will be considered from wherever they are submitted as long as the grounds for objection refer to relevant planning considerations (reflected in the template). Objections are not per household and therefore all adult occupants can individually object.

We genuinely believe that the end of this saga is finally in sight and we would like to encourage all residents to make a final effort to stop this unauthorised development once and for all.

Best wishes

Simon and Steve

Traveller appeal for land off Culhams Mill – Silchester Ref: Appeal Reference 3210244: Land at Rapiers, Little London Road, Silchester, TW7 4FR

CALL TO ACTION

Last week I attended a pre-enquiry meeting with members of the BDBC planning team, The BDBC barrister and the Planning Inspector, Jeanie Russell.   Mr Connors from the Traveller Group was also requested to attend but declined to do so.  The following is a brief summary of this meeting.

  • At the previous pre-enquiry meeting that I attended in November, Mr Connors (the appellant for the Traveller group) informed the Inspector that the group had parted company with their agent (Mr Woods) on the grounds of non-payment of fees.  He further stated that the group was in the process of seeking a new agent.
  • At the meeting last week, the Inspector informed us that she had not heard from the Mr Connors since the 7th of January but she had been informed by him that they had been unable to agree terms with another agent and therefore had no representation.
  • Quite rightly, the Inspector expressed concern that, without qualified representation, a full enquiry would be a very one sided affair and would not allow the Traveller group to fully state their case.  She felt that it would also be a waste of public funds.  This was further complicated by the fact that Covid restrictions make it very hard for her to visit the site as would normally be expected.
  • As such, the full face to face enquiry has now been cancelled and the Inspector has proposed instead a hybrid solution whereby the hearing will be primarily heard by written representation and partly through a face to face hearing which will be held in Silchester Village Hall on 27th/28th of April.
  • If this proposal is accepted by both BDBC and the Traveller group then the Inspector will require written depositions from all parties by the 16th March.  This includes representations from local residents.
  • BDBC will be writing to residents to formally notify them of the procedure and provide associated dates.
  • The Planning Inspector will make her final decision on the outcome of this enquiry at the hearing on the 27th/28th April.  

CALL TO ACTION: 

  • The unauthorised occupation of the water meadow off Culhams Mill first took place almost four years ago!  It has been a long hard slog since then by many people within our community.  However, largely through the solidarity shown by residents of Silchester and Little London, we have managed to ensure that occupation of the site has, thus far, been prevented.
  • We are now on the last leg of this and we hope that, with one final effort, will put an end to this dispute once and for all.
  • The current enquiry process is being held by the Planning Inspectorate for England and Wales (sometimes known as PINS).  This operates independently from the BDBC planning process and the original objections through the BDBC planning portal are not automatically carried over.  
  • As such, whilst the original planning application received 248 objections, the Planning Inspector has only received on 53 thus far.
  • If you still feel strongly about the planned conversion of the water meadow at Culhams Mill into a 13 pitch caravan site for Travellers and Gypsies and would like your voice to be heard then we encourage you to write to the case officer handling the case at the PINs. 
  • Correspondence should be sent to;
    • Mr Ben White, Case Officer. 
      TeamE3@planninginspectorate.gov.uk
    • The PINS appeal reference for this is “Appeal Reference 3210244: Land at Rapiers, Little London Road, Silchester, TW7 4FR”.  
    • All submissions should be by the 16th March at the latest. 
  • As nothing has substantially changed during the last four years the original objections that you submitted at the start of the planning process are still valid and you should feel free to submit the same document.  If you no longer have access to that document a further copy of the template can be found here.  
  • As before, there is no need for objections to come from just within the community; they will be considered from wherever they are submitted as long as the grounds for objection refer to relevant planning considerations (reflected in the template).
  • We genuinely believe that the end of this saga is finally in sight and we would like to encourage all residents to make a final effort to stop this unauthorised development once and for all.

Best wishes

Simon and Steve

Travellers site – Land Adjacent To and Rear Of Culhams Mill also referred to as rear of Rampiers.

Dear neighbours,

Firstly, in these strange times, our sincere wishes that you are all keeping safe.  If you know of anyone experiencing hardship and you think that there is a way that we can help then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

As the Bank Holiday approaches our discussions in the Calleva Society inevitably return to the potential for the traveller site at Culham’s Mill being re-occupied.  The High Court injunction, however, appears to remain a significant deterrent in preventing the owners from occupying the land until the planning process has fully run its course.  The land at Culham’s Mill is actually covered by two High Court injunctions.  The first has been taken out by the planning enforcement team and is site specific and the second has been taken out by the Environmental Health team at BDBC and covers a large swathe of land (including Silchester) across the Borough.  Whilst we are no lawyers, our understanding is that a breach of these injunctions would be regarded as contempt of court and has the potential for a custodial sentence.  We are informed that  the latter of the two injunctions also brings with it powers of immediate arrest. For the full  content of the Borough wide injunction go to https://www.basingstoke.gov.uk/content/doclib/2852.pdf

The Planning Inspectorate inquiry date was originally set for this coming June but, given the current situation with Covid 19, it is unsurprising that is has been put back to 29th September 2020.  Nonetheless, we continue to liaise with BDBC on a regular basis and we are confident that they will put forward a strong case on our behalf.  As always, if you do see any activity at the site please do let us know as soon as possible so that we can inform the appropriate authorities.  Feel free to call Simon on 07769 684283

Kind Regards

Steve Spillane, Simon Mahaffey and the team.

Calleva Society

callevasociety@gmail.com

www.callevasociety.org or to donate https://callevasociety.org/make-a-donation/