Gypsies win appeal

Wednesday 29 September 2004

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On 29 September 2004 three Gypsies claimed an important human rights victory after a Court of Appeal ruling put more pressure on councils to find sites for Travellers' mobile homes.

The Gypsies overturned a High Court ruling that blocked permission for their families to live on land in Chichester, West Sussex.

Originally a government planning inspector decided that planning permission should be granted on human rights grounds, even though the Gypsies originally moved onto the site without permission. The inspector took into account that Chichester district council had failed to provide sites in its area for Gypsies and other Travelling people in line with government guidance.

The High Court ruled that the inspector had erred when applying human rights law. But today, in a two to one majority decision, the Court of Appeal backed the inspector's judgement and reinstated his decision.

The landmark ruling was won by Grant Doe, Gregory Yates and Paul Eames and their families, who all moved on to land in West Ashling in December 2001.

David Watkinson of Two Garden Court Chambers appeared as Counsel for the three appellants in the case which was reported in The Guardian, The Daily Mail and discussed on Radio 4's Today programme.

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