This Thursday (28th June) will see amongst others, an application for a 4 pitch, travellers site in Canewdon in Pudsey Hall Lane come before RDC development committee.
This is a retrospective application for the proposed use of land at Pudsey Hall Lane for a Gypsy/Traveller pitch comprising two mobile homes, the construction of a separate day room building, along with the siting of two touring caravans, with associated hardstanding
RDC’s planners are recommending approval on this one and it’s been called in by Cllr Georgio Ioannou.
Here at onlineFOCUS, we think the development committee will struggle to refuse this one. RDC has failed massively on providing travellers pitches that were in the core strategy and this was recently highlighted by a government inspector in the case of the pump house in Watery Lane.
This recommendation is also in accordance with appeal decision reference: APP/B1550/C/16/3162651, dated 02 November 2017, relating to a proposed traveller site at The Pumping Station, Watery Lane, Rawreth, Essex SS11 8TN. In this case the Inspector concluded that the failure of the Council to provide traveller sites, and the relatively sustainable location of the site outweighed any potential harm to the Green Belt.
Looking at the evidence we think that ward councillor is on a hiding to nothing with the decision to call this in and should the committee decide to refuse, then RDC better has very good reasons for refusal or this could be hitting their already strained finances.
Note to readers: this article has been submitted by a non-member of RDC and as such has no bearing on the outcome of the development committee
Report back to the onlineFOCUS team on the committee’s decision
The committee resolved to refuse the application against the officer’s advice.
Our thoughts – this could have serious consequences for Rochford District Council, there is a possibility that the planning inspector could overturn this decision (highly likely if it goes to appeal) as they’ve (the inspector) already criticised the council for NOT providing any planned pitches. We have to ask is it that the council is trying to duck the issue? There were options on the table for the committee to grant this particular pitch for a limited time to buy the council time in providing official pitches, but now again, it could face a real risk that the inspector granting this pitch as a permanent pitch. It would appear that despite protests from local residents, their views have been ignored once again.
We will continue to watch this, as if this decision gets overturned by the inspector, this will be the third time that travellers pitches have been granted on appeal!