Traveller site proposed for one family opposite Northamptonshire canal will be recommended for refusal

The parish council has concerns that the site would be 'an unaccaptable visual blight to the many boat users, walkers, cyclists and fishermen who use the waterway'

Friday, 16th April 2021, 12:36 pm
A plan to create a caravan site for a traveller family on land adjacent to the Grand Union Canal Conservation Area is being recommended for refusal. Photo: Google Maps.

A plan to create a caravan site for a traveller family on land adjacent to the Grand Union Canal Conservation Area is being recommended for refusal.

West Northamptonshire Interim Planning Committee is set to discuss the application at its meeting next Wednesday (April 21).

A report to the committee states Mr B Medcrast is applying for a change of use of the land at Weedon Lane, Dodford to use as a residential caravan site for one traveller family with one mobile home and one touring caravan. It includes the laying of a permeable hardstanding and installation of new septic tank.

It states: "The proposed site in the open countryside is remotely located away from the nearest existing settlements and in a sensitive location adjacent to the Grand Union Canal Conservation Area.

"Conflict has been identified with the relevant parts of the development plan in the Settlements and Countryside Local Plan Policy (SCLP) HO9 which is the main policy against which gypsy and traveller applications should be assessed.

"The conflict found with HO9 is in respect of access and highway safety, accessibility to a range of local services and the impact of the proposal on land and local infrastructure."

The report goes on to state there is no need outstanding to make adequate provision for gypsies or travellers in the Daventry area.

Dodford Parish Council objects on several grounds which include: there are already traveller pitches available within the Daventry district, concerns the access track is unsafe for traffic, the location of the site would be an unaccaptable visual blight to the many boat users, walkers, cyclists and fishermen who use the waterway, and concerns the application has no arrangements for domestic waste.

Weedon Bec Parish Council also objects to the application citing the application is 'full of inconsistencies.'

Letters of objection were received by 19 local residents and two district councillors. Their reasons for objections included: no need for additional traveller pitches, access is unsafe, flood risk, visual harm, landscape impact and local amenity impact.

The report recommends the application is refused for the following reasons: there is no evidence the family needs to be located at this particular site and the remote location is not suitable in terms of giving the whole family reasonable accessibility to the full range of services set out in national policy, contract to SCLP policy.

The application has failed to demonstrate the shared vehicle access can safely accommodate the intensified use that would arise from the proposed residential traveller pitch and its associated vehicle movements, contrary to SCLP policy.

The scale and elevated nature of the proposal and location of the site adjacent to the locally valued towpath of the Grand Union Canal Conservation Area will have an unacceptable impact on the designated heritage asset, on the local landscape, local infrastructure and the amenity of the existing communities that use the asset.

This would be contrary to SCLP policies and this level of harm is not outweighed by a demonstrable evidence of need.

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