Whiteparish Gypsy site plan turned down

A GYPSY family have been refused permission to remain in a caravan on land in Whiteparish.

Temporary three-year permission for William Clarke and Tammy Beswick and their family to occupy a mobile home on land at Tricky’s Paddock, off Brickworth Road, was granted by a planning inspector in 2009.

But on Thursday members of Wiltshire Council’s southern area planning committee turned down an application to allow permanent occupation of the site and an extra caravan.

Cllr Richard Britton said: “The inspector has pointed the way for us very clearly. He used a very strong and pointed argument that the proposed development would harm the character and appearance of the surrounding area.

“He said permanent permission should not be granted, that this should not be perpetuated any longer than necessary and that temporary permission should not be seen as a precedent.”

The committee turned down the 2009 application amid scores of complaints from villagers concerned about the impact on the surrounding area and the safety of the exit onto the A27.

The council had been advised by planning officers to approve the plan in line with government guidance issued in 2006 that more Gypsy and traveller sites are needed and local planning authorities should be flexible about where they are provided.

But the committee refused it on the grounds that the guidance should not override planning policy and objections raised on health and safety grounds.

Permission was then granted by the inspector following an inquiry into the decision.

At Thursday’s meeting the applicants’ representative argued that allowing the application would both provide a stable home for a family and go some way towards meeting Wiltshire Council’s agreed responsibility under the South Wiltshire Core Strategy to provide 10 residential and five transit traveller sites in the Salisbury area by 2011.

An officer’s report to the committee said the council is already in breach of this policy as the sites have not been provided, and recommended that permission to remain at the site be extended for a further three years.

But cllr Mike Hewitt said: “Temporary is temporary, not a renewal.”

The committee voted five to two in favour of refusing the application, with two abstentions.

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