Issue - decisions
Application for the siting of 5 additional gypsy caravans for the Buckland family and continued use of land for the storage and dispatch of timber. (Part Retrospective)
Please refer to the late material circulated before the start of the meeting
Responding to concerns about some of the comments that had been made by the applicant, regarding the support of the parish council and the local community, (as detailed in the late material and circulated at the adjourned meeting on 10 January 2012), Principal Planning Officer, Martin Hillier confirmed that there had been no change to the Parish Council’s comments on the application, as set out in the main agenda. The planning officer gave a brief update on the council’s position in relation to the identification and allocation of gypsy and traveller caravan pitches in the Forest of Dean. He said that, following the Gloucestershire Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment in 2007, the council had been required to provide an additional 30 pitches during the period 2007 and 2012. Currently, permissions have secured 24 pitches leaving 6 pitches to be found, and would reduce further, (to just one pitch), should the committee approve the application. The planning officer said that the recommendation remained one of delegated permission, subject to clarification on the capacity of the local school and to the inclusion of an additional condition to control site levels.
A planning consultant speaking on behalf of local residents:
referred to a detailed letter that had been sent to committee members prior to the meeting, outlining the concerns and objections of the local community. The speaker said that, whilst aware of the district-wide need to provide gypsy and traveller pitches, this did not warrant a strong enough basis on which to determine the application. He said that the development was contrary to development plan policies and that there was little evidence to demonstrate a need to locate gypsy and traveller sites in Blakeney.
The agent for the application said that:
‘the site was an established site and had been in the ownership of the Buckland family for over 20 years. He said that, having integrated into the community, the family had received the support of many local people in submitting their application. Referring to the concerns from the parish council, the agent said that despite such concerns, the parish council had not objected to the application, which he believed was a suitable location for the site. The agent said he did not foresee any drainage issues at the site. Furthermore, with only one child of school age living at the site, he did not consider the impact on local schools to be an issue, particularly as the one child travelled out of the district to go to school. The agent believed the application adhered to both national and local planning policy and had received the support of the local community’.
Committee Chairman, Councillor Terry Glastonbury, said that local member, Councillor Brian Edwards would have liked to have attended the meeting for consideration of this item but had been unable to do so due to work commitments.
The majority of committee members accepted the proposals and agreed that the application met with both national and planning policy. One member said that, in refusing the application, the planning authority was unlikely to uphold the decision at appeal, whilst other members said that they had been pleased that the site owners had adopted a sensible approach in taking prescribed steps towards developing the site.
Responding to questions, the planning officer confirmed that planning permission for 5 additional caravans would override previous planning permissions. He also said that, whilst the application, (at the outset), had been linked to the Buckland family, it was not a requirement to restrict use of this long established site to the current owners. With this in mind, the planning officer confirmed that it was acceptable for the applicant to transfer ownership of the site at a later date. The planning officer also confirmed that, he personally, had contacted the local school regarding attendance at the local school. He said that, although the number of children at the school was above capacity, no children at the site, (other than a child educated in Gloucester), required a local education and that this was not a problem.
Councillor Philip Burford moved the recommendation and Councillor Val Hobman seconded the motion. A recorded vote was taken and members,
RESOLVED that delegated authority be given to the Group Manager for Planning and Housing to grant planning permission subject to formal clarification on the position regarding school places and the conditions included in the schedule of applications, an additional site levels condition and the information included in the late material.
Councillors Philip Burford, Gethyn Davies, Frankie Evans, Jackie Fraser, Terry Glastonbury, Val Hobman, Jane Horne, Gabriella Kirkpatrick, Paul McMahon, Norman Stephens and Arthur Thomas.
Abstentions (1) Councillor James Bevan
This item was considered at the reconvened meeting on Tuesday 17 January 2012