Objections to traveller family's site plan near Ellesmere
More than 60 people have objected to plans for a permanent traveller pitch on the outskirts of a Shropshire village.
The application was submitted to Shropshire Council in March by James and Barbara Doran, who said they had been forced to leave their previous site in Wrexham with their children after other travellers refused to abide by social distancing.
They have since been based near Hawthorn House, Welshampton, near Ellesmere, and have applied for change of use of the piece of land from a pony paddock to a traveller site.
Under the plans, 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 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.
But the parish council and more than 60 village residents have lodged objections to the plans, with no statements of support as yet submitted.
They say the change of use will have a detrimental impact on the rural surroundings due to the site being in an elevated position which is visible from parts of the village and the A495.
Welshampton with Lyneal Parish Council says: “The proposal is visually intrusive and incongruous given its setting in open countryside and is considered harmful to the setting.
“Further harms would arise from noise associated with vehicle movement and other activities out of doors on the site which would be heard over a wide area. Additionally, being on a raised site, there would be light pollution.”
The application acknowledges that the plans constitute inappropriate development under planning policy but says 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.
However, a letter from the council’s gypsy liaison officer says: “I can confirm that Shropshire Council’s gypsy and traveller service received no enquiries from either the agent or the applicants requesting a pitch or enquiring about vacancies prior to family occupying the site and submitting the application.
“There are and was vacant pitches on three out of the four sites Shropshire Council manages.”
The council’s conservation service has recommended the application be refused due to a lack of information on how the proposals would impact two nearby farmhouses, one of which is Grade II listed, while the other is a non-designated heritage asset.
Councillor Brian Williams, who represents The Meres, has also objected to the application, which will be decided by Shropshire Council in the coming months.
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