Sunday 23 June 2024
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Nottingham

Plans for a travellers’ site in a Nottinghamshire hamlet rejected

Plans for a new traveller site in a rural hamlet were dismissed after councillors labelled it as “inappropriate”.

An application was sent to Newark and Sherwood District Council for four static, four mobile caravans and eight parking spaces on the site.

The applicant Mr Holmes, said the plans for land at Shady Oaks in Spalford are “for members of the Gypsy Traveller community so they can thrive and maintain good health”.

Councillors raised concerns over the lack of infrastructure in the area, which has no pavements or streetlights and is closest to Collingham which is five miles away.

Residents said there are already a number of caravan sites in the area.

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The plans were turned down 12 votes to one during the Planning Committee on March 15.

Newark and Sherwood District Council said it has currently got an unmet five year supply for 77 new plots for travellers in the district.

The authority acknowledged that traveller pitches “shouldn’t usually be accepted in the open countryside except in a number of circumstances”.

But a council officer added: “Clearly our unmet need is very significant because if we don’t grant permission here, where else can such community live?”

The site is also in flood zones two and three, meaning it has a high risk of flooding – but the Environment Agency did not object to the application.

Councillor Paul Middleton of Spalford Parish Council said during the meeting: “Those that have lived in the area for years have observed flooding on this site and our concerns are that there are no watercourses or drainage.

“Spalford is a rural location. The lack of facilities in the village we believe is going to create a problem.

“There are no pavements, street lighting, mains drainage. The catchment school is closing so there are no opportunities to access local amenities.

“We know you are under a lot of pressure but this site seems so inappropriate.”

The application stated: “It is important that gypsies and travellers have a stable place to live so they can access consistent healthcare which are a material consideration where there is a shortfall of sites.”

Councillor Malcolm Brock (Lib Dem) said: “This development would inundate and change the character of this hamlet, and I think would have a significant adverse effect on the quality of life of people currently living there.

“It was instructed this morning to see the site, it would be an understatement to say there were many other caravans. It seems the hamlet has been inundated by caravans.

“Whilst understanding the need to push the boat out and find sites, I cannot support the proposition.”

But councillor Laurence Goff (Lab) added he would support the application and said: “The idea is they have to go somewhere, we can’t have them living on the side of the road.”

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