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Notts gypsy and traveller site ‘would be a danger to life’ because of flood risk – says council report

A temporary gypsy and traveller caravan site in Newark would be a ‘danger to life’ if planning permission is granted on a permanent basis, a council’s assesment says.

Newark Town Council and The Environment Agency are worried that the development sits within an area prone to flooding.

The applicant is calling on the local authority to make Park View Caravan Park in Tolney Lane a permanent fixture.  The site is a former abattoir.

Currently, the site is in temporary use as a gypsy and traveller caravan site for up to 15 caravans and had planning permission until November 30, 2021.

Newark Town Council is objecting to the plans on the grounds that the application is in a high risk flood area which poses “a danger to life”.

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The Environment Agency also says the site lies within a flood zone and has a high probability of flooding.

The  council says the main considerations of the application are “the significant unmet need and the absence of a five-year land supply for gypsy and traveller pitches, and flood risk”.

A Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (GTAA) demonstrates a need for 118 pitches to meet the needs of the community up to 2033.

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.”

But a report prepared for a planning meeting on Tuesday, 15 February states: “National policy is very clear that permission should not be granted for this highly vulnerable use in areas at that level of flood risk.

“Whilst it is acknowledged that this site has already benefited from two consecutive temporary permissions, as it stands officers are unable to provide support for the granting of permanent consent.”

The council said the purpose of granting temporary consent was to cater for the applicants’ immediate accommodation needs whilst allowing for the possibility of identifying other sites at lesser risk of flooding.

The authority says it is pro-actively pursuing suitable sites to meet future gypsy and traveller needs in the area.

The report concludes: “To allow permanent occupation of a site at such high risk of flooding would put occupiers of the site and members of the emergency services at unnecessary risk.”

Councillors will determine whether the application should be granted or refused planning permission on Tuesday, 15 February.

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