Traveller family applies to set up home near Ellesmere
A family of travellers has applied to set up a permanent pitch on the outskirts of a Shropshire village after the coronavirus outbreak forced them to leave their previous site.
James and Barbara Doran have applied to Shropshire Council for change of use of a piece of land near Hawthorne House, Welshampton, from a pony paddock to a travellers’ site.
The single pitch will have a mobile home, space for a touring caravan and two car parking spaces.
A design and access statement by agent Trevor Mennell Planning says: “James, his wife Barbara and two young children currently live on the road travelling between sites of family and friends and were recently on a site in Wrexham until the outbreak of the coronavirus, living an ongoing nomadic habit of life visiting horse fairs, Christian conventions and relations.
“Following concern for the children and his vulnerable pregnant wife, with the outbreak of coronavirus James found himself having to move his family directly onto the Welshampton site, as fellow travellers are refusing to self-isolate, putting his family at a greater risk of infection.”
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The statement says the family, who have relatives in the county, “would have pride in keeping a single tidy family site” and want to become part of the community.
The application acknowledges that the plans constitute inappropriate development under planning policy but say there are exceptional circumstances and no other suitable sites in the county.
“The specific need to accommodate the young Doran family who are currently residing on the site through unforeseen circumstances and the lack of sites is necessary to provide them with a decent quality of life,” the statement said.
The application has led to a string of objections from nearby residents.
In his objection, Councillor Brian Williams, who represents The Meres, said: “It is my view that the application should be considered, as are all other applications, on whether or not the land use complies with the existing Shropshire Development Plan which is in force until 2026 or until superseded.
“To allow the application for any other reason would be to create a precedent which could be used to try to justify similar applications in adjacent, or other locations, in the county.”
The application will be decided by Shropshire Council.
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