Council gives verdict on controversial north Derbyshire Traveller site plans

Council planning chiefs have given their verdict on a ‘sensitive and difficult’ application to retain a Traveller site in North East Derbyshire.

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 2:38 pm

Plans for a single pitch site to accommodate ‘a mobile home and a touring caravan’ on land at Killamarsh have been turned down.

The applicant, described in planning documents as ‘a Romany Gypsy following a Travelling lifestyle’, already visits the location at Boiley Lane on a daily basis and had asked for permission for it to become a pitch for himself.

However, North East Derbyshire MP Lee Rowley wrote a letter of objection ‘on behalf of a number of local residents of Killamarsh’.

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The location of a proposed Traveller site, on land off Boiley Lane, Killamarsh.

The Conservative MP listed concerns that the site was on green belt, that the application was retrospective and also contrary to elements of the area’s draft local plan.

He said: "While I accept that this is a sensitive and difficult situation, the purpose of planning policy is to create frameworks within which decisions, however difficult, are taken supported by due process and careful consideration.

"It is important the public has confidence in those policy frameworks.”

He ‘strongly urged’ planners to refuse planning permission.

Arguments in support of the application had suggested the ‘remote and screened location’ would create ‘little impact on the character of the countryside’ in the area.

But planning officers gave a number of reasons for turning down the proposal for the land, which lies on the west side of Boiley Farm, between a fishing pond and Boiley Lane.

Officers said: “The site is located within the green belt. The change of use of the site to a caravan site for human habitation has a negative effect upon the openness of the green belt and is inappropriate development in the green belt.

"Substantial weight must be given to this green belt harm.

"The use is also harmful to the character and appearance of the countryside and this adds to the green belt harm.

“There are no other considerations, including those relating to the Traveller status of the occupier, that weigh sufficiently in favour of the proposal and that amount to very special circumstances that would be needed to justify the development.”

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