Fears site will see a rise in travellers in move to expand 'settled' pitches (From Swindon Advertiser)
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Fears site will see a rise in travellers in move to expand 'settled' pitches
VILLAGERS have raised objections to a proposal to double the size of a caravan site they fear will become a large travellers settlement – and upset the settled community there.
A private planning application for five caravan pitches, day rooms and a children’s play area at Four Oaks Park, near Lydiard Millicent, will go before Wilt-shire Council’s northern area planning committee on Wednes-day.
But, although it has been approved by council officers, it has met with strong opposition from Lydiard Millicent Parish Council, who claim the site, which currently has six permanent pitches and four transit pitches, is not appropriate for expansion.
In a submission to Wiltshire Council, included in Wednesday’s agenda, the parish council said: “We remind you that previous covenants for this site have not been well managed to date.
“We would also mention that caravans have, to date, not been permitted on the south side of the site because of the proximity to the bridleway and stream.
“The area is also close to the Royal Bradon Forest, which has additional protection against development.
“The transit sites have been used rarely over the past three years and the site has been in use as permanent residential homes.
“We are not happy with the potential doubling of residents, as this will place unwelcome extra pressure on the rural B4696, especially at the corner by the entrance to Lydiard Plain where there have been many accidents.
“The parish council is unanimously opposed to this application.”
Wiltshire Councillor for the area Mollie Groom said: “There is no evidence of an appointed warden to monitor the four transit pitches on the existing site, which does suggest a lack of use.
“If these transit sites are not being used there would appear to be no demand to expand this particular site.
“The site is located within the designated Great Western Community Forest and Royal Bradon Forest. It is remote and far removed from essential services.
“The neighbour has consistently complained and objected to this site. Previous conditions and requirements have not been met.
“Basically this application would turn the site into a gypsy caravan park. Who in the settled community would be able to enable such a scheme under planning regulations?
“Younger parishioners strongly feel that these travellers are most-favoured-parishioners and that the settled community is at a disadvantage in comparison.”
To find out more about the plans visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk and search for application number 12/1291FUL.