Plans for a Gypsy/Traveller site near Leigh to go to appeal

AN APPLICATION for a Gypsy site in North Wiltshire will be decided on appeal after planning officers failed to make a decision in time.

Mr M Powell wants permission to erect a caravan site on land known as Thatado Farm, south of Bridge Paddocks, Leigh.

This would include four mobile homes, four touring caravans, and the erection of four dayrooms.

The plans were originally submitted in March 2020.

The proposed occupants of the site comprise an extended family and their dependents. The group acquired the land with the help of their families “after several failed attempts to find and secure an alternative”.

Pitch one would be a family of six, pitch two a mother and her two sons, pitch three a family of four, and pitch three another family of four. 

The planning statement says: “The males of the site are considered to meet the definition of Gypsy/Traveller as set out at Annex 1 of the PPTS in that they maintain a nomadic way of life and travel for work.

“They undertake groundwork and hard/soft landscaping works, and source their work by leaflet dropping, door knocking, and by utilising technology brought forward through the use of apps.”

Purton Parish Council did not object to the application, but stated in its response that the conditions “must state that the application is for four pitches only and must be monitored”.

Some local residents did voice their objections to the application though.

A comment submitted on behalf of the owner of the plot of land that lies adjacent to this site (Mrs A) claims that access to the residences “is not possible as currently depicted”, which is through a double gate and along roads and/or paths that are on Mrs A’s land.

They say they have not given access for this or been approached for permission, nor would she give it if she was approached. 

They also argue that the application is seeking to “completely alter the character of land which is currently designated as entirely rural”.

Another neighbour says that the application should not be granted on several grounds, arguing that “there are still adequate pitches available in the area which could be used by the applicant”, as well as saying that the site access is onto a very dangerous road”. 

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