A traveller family's application for a change of use of land in Barby to accommodate thoroughbred horses, chickens, dogs and their residential mobile home has been recommended for approval by Daventry District Council's planning committee.
The application, submitted by Mr P J Hannifin, for the land west of Barby Lane also proposes the construction of hardstanding, a parking area, and the erection of an outbuilding with a chicken hutch and dog pen.
The committee found the proposal, first submitted in December 2016, in keeping with local and national planning policies on sustainability.
"On balance, this retrospective change of use of land from agriculture to a mixed use comprising residential and keeping of thoroughbred horses, chickens and horse dogs, and the associated stationing of a single residential mobile home, for one gypsy family, complies with the salient criteria of relevant national and local planning policies on sustainability and the provision of small scale traveller sites," read the committee's report.
"The development is small scale and, on balance, does not detract from the character of the local landscape or safety of the local highways network.
"This is despite the fact that under a 2017, albeit currently unadopted, review of the Gypsy and Travellers Accommodation Assessment, this development now exceeds Daventry District’s requirements for such a category of residential development."
A personal statement from the applicants was included in the report.
"We have had a few years of travelling, which is in my blood, but because of Patrick, our son’s ill-health, after many discussions with our families, we have decided to settle down, so we can be near to the health support he needs for our son aged 7, who suffers from Doose syndrome, which is a form of epilepsy," wrote the family.
"We have four children who are all settled into local schools, but we do have problems with our eldest son. His ill health does affect his schooling and we are in the process of going to a special school."
It continues: "My great-grandfather, his wife and children travelled from Ireland to settle in the Rugby area as they visited often to visit families. They were soon followed by the Hannifin family. They arrived in Rugby in 1963 and stayed at land within Rugby."
The parish council objected to the proposal as "it constitutes development in open countryside and is contrary to Barby and Onley Neighbourhood Plan".
No objections were made by Environmental Health or Northamptonshire County Council, who are the highway authority, but the committee advise the application should be approved subject to certain conditions.
Among these are that the land is not used as a caravan site by any persons other than "gypsies and travellers" as defined in Government policy, and that the occupants of the residential unit should only be members of the Hannifin family and the in-laws.
The conditions also state that no commercial activities should take place on the land, that no more than one mobile home should be stationed on the site at any one time, and that any caravans or mobile homes or day vans on the site should be capable of being towed on public roads.