UTTOXETER’S MP has supported council chiefs decision to reject plans for a private gipsy caravan site and hopes the appeal is dismissed the same way.
Andrew Griffiths spoke out after Mr H Sykes appealed to the planning inspectorate for the Secretary of State Community and Local Government Eric Pickles against East Staffordshire Borough Council’s decision to refuse a gipsy site in Station Road, Draycott in the Clay.
The appellant hopes to change the use of the land, opposite Station Cottages, into a private gipsy caravan site comprising of two pitches including the retention of a septic tank, fencing and gravel surfacing.
Mr Griffiths said: “The proposal for a traveller site was rejected by the council on perfectly valid and proper grounds.
“In addition, the local community was united in their opposition to the site. The council made the right decision in rejecting it and I hope the inspectorate will uphold the view of the council and the will of the people in Draycott.”
The appeal start date was on July 30 and a decision will be determined through an informal hearing procedure.
During the hearing evidence will be produced to show that there is an unmet need for further gipsy sites and that the proposal is appropriate for this semi-rural location and is consistent with planning policy for traveller sites and framework.
Mr Sykes said in a statement: “Should any conflict with the development plan be found then it will be advanced that other material considerations outweigh that.
“Conflict includes the general level of unmet need at a national, regional, county wide and local level, the appellant’s personal circumstances, the availability of suitable, acceptable alternative sites, failure of policy, the lack of a five year supply of sites, human rights and the best interest of the children.”
According to the East Staffordshire Borough Council housing strategy document’s gipsy and traveller accommodation needs assessment, back in 2008 there was unauthorised development of five pitches in Draycott in the Clay.
Enforcement action was taken in 2008 and this was upheld on appeal in April 2009. The appeal hearing, held by inspector Paul Morris, dismissed the appeal saying the main issues were the impact on the rural area and sustainability, the impact on residential amenity, highway safety, flood risk, the need for and provision of sites for gipsies and travellers, the appellant’s accommodation needs and the availability of alternative sites and the overall balance.
In October 2010, an application was received by the council for two pitches on the same site but it has not yet become valid as it did not have all the relevant information.
People wanting to comment on the appeal application can do so on the Planning Portal website at www.planningportal.gov.uk/pcs, by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or sending three copies to Emma Daniells, The Planning Inspectorate, room 3/05 wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol, BS1 6PN.