Gypsy now faces bill for appeal from East Devon Council
A GYPSY who was refused permission to build a log cabin on her rural land now faces a potential huge bill for challenging the decision.
East Devon District Council wants Kelly Lynch to pay its costs for the appeal hearing.
Miss Lynch lived with her grandmother on the plot near Tipton St John as a child, and moved back in eight years ago.
Although the 35-year-old inherited the land and the caravan, permission to live there only applied to her grandmother.
A Full Dermalogica Facial,which lasts 1 and 1/2 hours,including Back,Neck,Shoulder Massage, now only £35.
Terms: Voucher must be quoted while booking appointment.Voucher must be presented on appointment.
Contact: 01392 348280
Valid until: Monday, September 30 2013
In August, contrary to the planning officer's recommendation, councillors approved Miss Lynch's application for a log cabin.
But the planning department subsequently realised the application should have been advertised as it contravened rules about buildings being permitted in open countryside.
The advertised plans attracted one complaint from her uncle, who owns land nearby. Members were asked to consider the application again, and rejected it.
This month, a planning inspector heard Miss Lynch's appeal against the council's decision. The result is expected within 10 weeks.
Although normal procedure is for the appellant and local authority to cover their own costs, the council has decided to claim its costs from Miss Lynch, a care worker in Sidmouth. A council spokesman said the proposal was considered "contrary to regional and local policy and went against national planning policy guidance for restrictive rural policy, with little in the way of material considerations presented by the appellant".
He added that the decision was made because of the reasons given for the appeal which the council considered unsound.
Miss Lynch has expressed her upset about the decision.
"This has taken over almost a decade of my life, it's been ruining my life," she said.
"I was given permission, then it was taken away, then I appeal and I'm told I have to pay the council's costs – it's unbelievable, it doesn't make sense to me."
The land has been in Miss Lynch's family for 100 years but in 2004 she was refused permission to use the site because she was adjudged to not have gypsy status.
"I'm a gypsy by blood but not by paper because I'm choosing to go to work – this is the irony," she added.
Ottery Town Council previously made a formal complaint to the district council in support of Miss Lynch.
The district council spokesman added: "Miss Lynch has known for many years that her occupation of her mobile home was not authorised.
"When she applied for planning permission, the advice of council officers was quite clear – that the proposal should be refused – new dwellings in open countryside forming part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is clearly contrary to planning policy.
"The harsh reality is that this proposal was always in danger of being rejected and this is exactly what happened when the matter was reconsidered.
"So far as the application for costs is concerned, this does not relate to the person submitting the appeal – or their circumstances, it relates to the reasons given for the appeal, which the council considers to be unsound.
"The council has successfully won similar claims where developers have advanced appeals without suitable evidence or a sound case to argue.
"The council considers that tax payers should not have to cover the cost of this unnecessary work."