Deferment over plans for traveller site

A lengthy discussion over whether to grant permission for a four-pitch caravan site for gypsy or traveller families ended in stalemate last week.

South Holland District Council’s Planning Committee voted to defer the plans for Bleu Raye Farm on Millgate in Whaplode after nearly two hours of consideration.

A previous application for one permanent settlement on the site was refused by the council in 2016, a decision upheld on appeal.

However planning officers argued that this application met planning policy for temporary accommodation for the gypsy or traveller community.

The site had already been allocated for such use as part of the South East Lincolnshire Local Plan which was passed just last year, officers told the committee.

Set needs for traveller and gypsy sites are a requirement of the local plan, the committee heard.

The vote to go with officer’s recommendations and pass the application was defeated by one vote with two abstentions.

Many councillors spoke against the application stating the camp would have an adverse effect on local residents.

But as the site is already allocated in the passed local plan, councillors were told attempts to refuse the plans could cost the authority money.

The deferment was called for the applicant to look at the density of the use of the land.

A neighbour to the site, Simon Rummery told the committee: “My family and I have lived at Longacres for 40 years. We love living in this part of South Holland.

“The western boundary of our wildlife garden directly borders the boundary of this proposed development. It’s a peaceful place and I feel the placing of caravans will rob me of that peace and the pleasure I take in being there.”

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