Saturday 27 November 2021
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Nottingham

Gypsy and traveller site plans in Nottinghamshire expected to be refused

Planning permission is expected to be refused for a gypsy and traveller site in Newark.

It comes despite the council being unable to fulfil its five-year supply of suitable accommodation for the community.

A planning application has been submitted to Newark and Sherwood District Council to use land at Shannon Falls in Tolney Lane.

Retrospective planning permission is sought for the change of the site from scrubland to the creation of 13 pitches, which includes two trailer caravans and 11 single bricked buildings.

The applicant says the council does not currently have a five-year land supply for the gypsy and traveller community and there is a need for 118 additional pitches by 2034 and 77 by 2024, of which only two have so far been granted planning permission.

Newark Town Council has objected to the proposals stating the site is at “severe risk of flooding” a concern that has also been highlighted by the Environment Agency.

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The District Council previously considered the idea of residential caravan use on this site in 2002 and this was refused on grounds of flood risk.

Two enforcement notices were also served. The applicant appealed to the Planning Inspectorate and the appeals were dismissed.

The planning inspectorate stated: “I fully understand that the occupants of the site would make sure they were well aware of any imminent flooding, and because of their experience of travelling, they could vacate the site quickly, if necessary.

“However, this does not address the concerns about the continuing availability of functional flood plain, and the consequences of development for flood control over a wider area.”

However, on the adjacent land to the west, (also included as part of the Shannon Falls site), the planning committee resolved to approve an eight-pitch gypsy and traveller site for tourer caravans only on a temporary basis until February 2022.

In addition, on the adjacent site to the north-west, an application for a single traveller pitch which included some removal of unauthorised tipping material, the planning committee determined in June 2018, to grant a permanent permission.

Two further sites along Tolney Lane have also been considered recently for the same use.

Park View Caravan Park has temporary permission until November 30, 2021, while Green Park was granted further temporary permission in September 2021 for two years to allow alternative sites to come forward.

Council papers state: “It is accepted that the authority has a considerable shortfall in being able to demonstrate a five-year land supply, and a sizeable overall requirement which needs to be addressed.

“Both the extent of the pitch requirement and the lack of a five-year land supply represent significant material considerations, which weigh heavily in the favour of the granting of consent where proposals will contribute towards supply.”

But the report added: “The proposal represents highly vulnerable development that would be located within Flood Zone 3 and therefore should not be permitted.”

Council officers have recommended that planning permission be refused. Councillors will decide on November 2 at a council planning meeting whether to follow officers recommendations.

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