Bromley Council has declined to make a decision on plans for travellers to continue to use land in Orpington as a caravan site.

Retrospective plans were made in March for the continued use of a piece of land north west of Sevenoaks Lodge, Shire Lane, as a travellers' caravan site, including one mobile home, two touring caravans, car parking, and landscaping.

The proposals were submitted to Bromley Council more than two months ago, by Dr Angus Murdoch on behalf of Mr T Williams, however on May 29 the council "declined to determine" the application.

In its decision letter, the council said it was in the "public interest" to decline to determine the plans, as they included matters which fall under pre-existing Enforcement Notices on this site.

The Shire Lane site is on Green Belt land and has a history of applications and appeals concerning the use of this area as a travellers' caravan site.

READ MORE: Dartford traveller pitches 'need to be extended on green belt'

Development of the previously agricultural land was first undertaken around April 2021, with the site cleared and a metal gate installed.

Retrospective planning permission was then requested, which the council refused to grant in July 2021.

Shortly after, the council issued three enforcement notices, demanding the removal of unauthorised structures - including a hardstanding that had been installed to station a mobile home - by April 2024.

News Shopper: The proposed site layout drawings showing the placement of the mobile home and two caravans, as well as proposed native trees to be plantedThe proposed site layout drawings showing the placement of the mobile home and two caravans, as well as proposed native trees to be planted (Image: TDA)

Four subsequent appeals against the enforcement notices were dismissed and a High Court challenge against the appeal decisions was refused. 

As a result, the enforcement notice remain in place.

In a delegation report for the plans, Bromley Council planning department said: "The planning merits concerning the siting a mobile home and caravan on the site for residential use and the installation of hardstanding have already been previously considered and planning permission has been refused."

They added that if this current application were to be "entertained and granted", it would mean granting planning permission to a site and matters covered by a pre-existing enforcement notice.

The delegation report said: "It is considered appropriate and reasonable to decline to determine the application under Section 70C of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended).

"The benefit for taking this course of action is that there is no right of appeal against this decision and the costs involved in defending a further appeal would be avoided."

Bromley Council concluded that this also means they are able to pursue the enforcement notices, although no new date for compliance has been given.