Update on actions taken by Wirksworth Town Council
(in response to Derbyshire Dales District Councils decision to allocate land adjacent to the entrance to Stoney Wood as a Temporary Tolerated Traveller Site)
At the Town Council meeting on 4th of March, it was agreed that on the basis of legal counsel received, a “Letter before Action” should be sent to Derbyshire Dales District Council. This was the first step in a process that would lead to Wirksworth Town Council seeking a Judicial Review of the decision taken by DDDC.
The letter was issued by the Town Council’s lawyers and alleged that the District Council decision to provide a temporary tolerated site on the land at Middleton Rd, Wirksworth was unlawful on the following grounds:
- A material breach of the “right to know” provision relevant to the taking of such a decision in Section 100B of the Local Government Act 1972
- A failure to have regard to material considerations
- A failure to provide reasons for the decision
The Town Council has now received a response back from District Council.
The District Council do not intend to consent to judgement or revoke its decision and does not consider that any other forms of ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) would be appropriate or helpful in this case.
The Town Council referred the response from the District Council to our Legal Counsel. The Town Council’s legal adviser still contends that DDDC have not acted appropriately.
The Town Council has discussed the practicalities of continuing legal action against the District Council but has concluded that at this stage, it would be better to seek a de-escalation and again request a constructive dialogue over the issue.
In reaching this conclusion the Town Council considered:
- DDDC have not chosen to halt/reconsider the decision (which was a potential outcome sought).
- The timescales for a legal challenge would extend beyond the potential tenure of the location being used as a temporary tolerated traveller site.
- In practical terms, anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that the site will not be used as if is not felt to be suitable by parties involved.
If you require further information on this matter please contact the Town Clerk, Paul Jennings.
Last Updated: 26 March 2019