Help Ranil Jayawardena to Help Us

I need your help again!

I’ve been written to by many constituents complaining of trespassing, littering and harassment by unauthorised traveller encampments. I, like them, have been continually frustrated by the lack of authority that the Police have to deal with complaints such as these – resulting in hardworking citizens suffering because some travellers seem above the law.

Enough is enough. I want to put a stop to this discrimination – against the silent majority – but I need your help. I have launched a petition to change the laws that are protecting these unauthorised encampments and give powers back to the local authorities so that they are able to deal with them in the right way, without feeling muted and trapped by legislation.

To show the Government how important this issue is, I need as many people to sign my petition as possible. It worked to stop the ill-considered South Western Railway proposals – let’s hope it will work for this important issue also.

Please sign and share with as many friends and family as you can. It’s time for a change!

Sign the petition!

17th April Update – Objection Deadline

Dear Resident,

Following the recent unauthorised development activity on the Land off Culhams’ Mill, you may be interested to read the following two links which announce the government’s intention to review the current laws on unauthorised caravan sites.  The second of the two links is a consultation paper in which the government is requesting your opinion on the matter.  If you feel strongly about the subject and would like to contribute to the government’s thinking process then this is your opportunity.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-to-review-powers-to-deal-with-unauthorised-caravan-sites

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/powers-for-dealing-with-unauthorised-development-and-encampments

With regards to the existing site at Silchester the Calleva Society we would like remind you that the issue has now gone to appeal and will be heard by the Government’s Planning Inspectorate at public inquiry (note: this is completely separate from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council planning process).  The Calleva Society has now been granted permission to be a part 6 participant which means that we will have full access to the inquiry and be able to make our own contributions alongside BDBC.

You should note that the objections that residents have already made to BDBC will not automatically be carried over to the inquiry so if you still feel strongly about the issue you should make your new objection to directly to the inspectorate at Alison.Bell@pins.gsi.gov.uk or by post at the following address….

Ms A Bell
The Planning Inspectorate
Room 3/O
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Bristol
BS1 6PN

Always quote the reference APP/H1705/W/18/3194978.

We have provided a template objection if you would like to use it which is available for download here

download-158006_1280

The deadline for submitting your objection is the 17th of April.  As before, volume counts in this matter so we encourage as many people as possible to make their voices heard.

Regards

Simon Mahaffey  Chair Silchester Parish Council

Steve Spillane  Chairman   Calleva Society

email – callevasociety@gmail.com

Update 29 March 2018

Dear Resident,

Update on unauthorised developments in Silchester

Recent days have seen considerable activity with regards to the unauthorised residential developments in the Parish by members of the Traveller community.

Land off Little London Road near Culhams Mill
You will be aware that the applicants recently lodged an appeal against the Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council (BDBC) planning process on the grounds of their failure to make a planning determination.  The Calleva Society and Silchester Parish Council have liaised closely with the BDBC planning department, and we are aware that they have been working hard on reviewing the case and putting together the paperwork to bring about their determination.  Whilst we have not seen any of the paperwork, we continue to be confident that that the case for refusing this application remains very strong indeed on at least seven significant different planning issues.  The fact that the appeal has been lodged before the determination having been published makes very little difference at all in the overall scheme of things.  It is inevitable that a refusal would have gone to appeal so the fact that a step in the process has been omitted actually speeds the process up marginally.

On a positive note, the fact that the appeal against the High Court injunction was refused last November means that the injunction remains in force.  It seems to have had an effect as the site appears to have been deserted since December.  Unfortunately, however, there is evidence that it is now being used as an unlawful dump for commercial waste.  We have reported this to Hampshire County Council and are awaiting a response.

With regards the appeal process, those of you that submitted an objection to BDBC will have received a letter stating that the case has now gone to an inquiry being conducted by the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol.  We have been advised by our planning consultant that we should now submit our objections again by email to Alison.Bell@pins.gsi.gov.uk or by post at the following address….

Ms A Bell
The Planning Inspectorate
Room 3/O
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Bristol
BS1 6PN

Always quote the reference APP/H1705/W/18/3194978

As with all planning issues, volume matters so we would encourage anyone that continues to object to this site to submit their objections before the cut-off date of 17th April 2018As previously, we have drafted a template that can be downloaded here for those who  choose to use it.  Please remember to sign it and include your name and address as anonymous objections cannot be accepted.

The Calleva Society, through its planning consultant, Aaron Smith, is applying to be a “Rule 6” participant in the appeal.  If this status is granted (it is unlikely that it should be refused) this means that the Calleva Society will be a full participant in the inquiry on a level with both BDBC and the applicants.  As a result, the Society will become privy to all evidence being submitted to the inspectorate prior to the case being heard.  We will be able to review all of this evidence and provide counter arguments as well representing the concerns of village residents.

At this point in time we believe that the inquiry will be held sometime around November.  In the meantime, we continue to lobby BDBC to submit an enforcement notice against the site to run alongside the appeal that will require the owners to remove the hard core that has been dumped there.

Land off Bramley Road
Recently a three acre paddock to the west of Bramley Road and just south of Greenlands Farm was advertised and sold through a local estate agent.  Rumours about the ownership of this field have been rife in the village and BDBC was notified last week.  With the Easter weekend looming the concern has been that this would be the subject of a further unauthorised development similar in manner to the Culhams Mill site.  It is to the tremendous credit of the BDBC planning enforcement team that they have taken seriously the concerns of residents and obtained a High Court injunction, which was served on the land today.  This is the highest form of restraint that a Council can bring about and, given the amount of work involved, they should be commended for being proactive and having achieved this in only a few days.  The injunction means that any persons bringing hard core, building materials, caravans or mobile homes onto the site will be committing a criminal office and could be liable to imprisonment.
Notices are published on the land itself and we would like to encourage residents of Silchester to make this injunction as widely known as possible.  Our hope is that we this will discourage anyone that intends to knowingly develop the site without planning permission as well as any haulage companies that might become unwitting participants.  We would never encourage anyone to enter into any kind of confrontational situation but if a non-confrontational opportunity arises it may be appropriate for residents to politely point out to haulage companies/drivers that the injunction is in place.  At the end of the day, they have a waste transfer licence that allows them to trade and it is unlikely that they would want to deliberately jeopardise this.

If anyone does see caravans, plant machinery or tipper lorries arriving at the site we encourage you to take a note of their registration number (or ideally a photo) and report it to the Police via 101, or to the Calleva Society or Parish Council so that the appropriate authorities can be notified.

We are still finalising our costs for the appeal process and will be having a major fundraising effort when these are clearer. In the meantime if you would like to help with our on ongoing legal and professional costs you can donate by BACS to The Calleva Society, Sort code: 30-91-91, Account number: 28114060 Or by PayPal, paypal.me/calleva or directly to the callevasociety@gmail.com

Best wishes
Simon Mahaffey  Chair Silchester Parish Council

Steve Spillane  Chairman   Calleva Society

13th March Update

Dear Resident,

Please see below the letter the Parish Council have sent to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council expressing our concern at the apparent lack of action being taken by the Council.

The Calleva Society have also sent a similar letter to the council.

Best regards

Maxta Thomas
Clerk to Silchester Parish Council
Telephone – 0118 981 5131

Dear Mr Chapman

Ref:  Appeal at Land Adjacent To And Rear Of Culhams Mill, Little London Road Silchester, Hampshire.

PINS Reference: APP/H1705/W/18/3194978
LPA Reference: 17/00653/RET

Silchester Parish Council notes with some disappointment that an appeal has been lodged by the applicant in the above planning application on the grounds of non-determination by the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council planning department.

Whilst the Parish Council understands that the determination process will now have to be halted until the appeal can be heard, it is also our understanding that it is fully within your powers to serve an enforcement notice against this site in the interim period.

This justification for this has been made clearer to Silchester Parish Council following the Injunction Judgement in BDBC v Thompson [2018] EWHC 0011.  This judgement supports our view that Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council has had a long-standing and clear basis to properly utilise their available powers against the breach of planning control.

The continued absence of an enforcement notice concerning this intentional unauthorised development has seriously undermined widespread public confidence in the Council’s ability to proactively utilise their enforcement powers to act against the breach of planning control in the swiftest possible timescale.

We believe this is a priority case for enforcement action. The issuing of an enforcement notice was and remains essential to demonstrate the steps to be taken to remedy the breach of planning control within a given period, including the restoration of the site and cessation of harm to the environment and other amenities.  Silchester Parish Council now urges Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council to take immediate action in serving an enforcement notice against this site.

We look forward to your urgent response.

Yours sincerely

Maxta Thomas
Clerk to Silchester Parish Council

2/2/18 Latest Update

We have learnt today that an appeal has been lodged due to the non-determination of the application for a caravan park at Land Adjacent To And Rear Of Culhams Mill, Little London Road Silchester Hampshire.

What this means is that Basingstoke and Deane did not make a formal determination of the application within the statutory period and this gives the applicant an automatic right of appeal. The applicant lodges the appeal with the Planning Inspectorate who in turn appoint a planning inspector to examine the appeal. The appeal process is very lengthy and could take over a year with even appointing an inspector taking several months. We do not have any more detailed information at this point.

Basingstoke and Deane had served notice for the travellers to leave the site by today in accordance with the High Court injunction. We are not sure if they have complied with this, although we believe several families have left.

We will let you know more as we get it.

Regards

Simon Mahaffey  Chair Silchester Parish Council

Steve Spillane  Chairman   Calleva Society

email – callevasociety@gmail.com

Web – www.callevasociety.org