Posted by: braddenvillage | September 24, 2015

Planning Application for Mini Farm – new application for change of use

Planning application for Mini Farm (Abthorpe)

The applications is for:

“Change of land from agriculture to use as a residential caravan site for 3 gypsy families, each with up to 2 caravans including no more than one static caravan/mobile home/laying of hardstanding and erection of communal amenity building.”

This relates to 1/2 of the large field before you reach mini farm (when travelling to Abthorpe from the Bradden) i.e. the half of the field closest to the road.

In short, they already have planning for the 3 – 6 caravans currently on the existing site (won on appeal in February 2013), and are looking for permission for a further 3 – 6 caravans.

Comments to be made in writing no later than 14.10.2015, but note Parish Chair intends arranging a Village Meeting shortly.

Link to South Northants Website – here

To see the history of planning applications regarding this site (including reasoning behind successful appeal Feb 2013) see below:

Summary of Decision:

Original Application In 2010 temporary planning permission was granted for the stationing of three mobile homes on the site (S/2009/0657/P).

The justification for doing so was that the applicant and his family benefited from the policies for Gypsy and Traveller Sites and whilst the site is not considered a sustainable location for such a use, this was outweighed by the lack of alternative sites within the district, the low visual impact and the small scale nature of the use.

As such a temporary and personal planning permission was issued for the use of the land for three years, by which time (it was believed) the Council would have allocated a site within the district to which the family could be relocated.

In addition to the consent being personal (Condition 1) and temporary (Condition 1 & 2) the permission also restricted the number of caravans on the site to three (Condition 3).

Appeal Application In 2011 the applicant sought consent to remove conditions 1 and 2 of the original permission to make the consent permanent and to allow any gypsy/traveller to stay on the site, and also to vary condition 3 to allow an additional three caravans at the site.

Officers had no objection to removing the personal tie condition or allowing three touring caravans to be parked on site to enable the residents to fulfil their nomadic lifestyle and travel, but did not agree for the site to become a permanent gypsy or traveller site (given the unsuitable and inappropriate location) and was recommended for refusal on this basis only. However, the Development Control Committee added an additional reason for refusal on the grounds of the loss of the personal tie as Members considered small family sites to named individuals integrate better with local settled communities and are well managed in the absence of any formal site management and that removing the personal tie (in the absence of any formal site management) would allow the land to be let or sold to a number of different families which could give rise to noise, disturbance and disorder and cause visual harm to the site and open countryside.

Appeal Decision

The applicant chose to appeal the decision and the case was heard at an Informal Hearing.

The Inspector allowed the appeal.

The Inspector considered that in allowing a permanent use of the site that the Policies of the Planning Policy For Traveller Sites were met as:

  • It would not dominate the nearest settled community;
  • The current residents are able to access health and education services (and are not putting any undue pressure on local infrastructure or services;
  • The site is close enough to a settlement (Abthorpe) for it not to be in an isolated location;
  • Minimal visual impact: and therefore considered to be a sustainable location for a small gypsy site.

    In relation to the personal tie, the Inspector considered that while the situation of the appellant and his family had some bearing on her conclusions, their personal need was not the determining factor in reaching the decision.

    The Inspector advised that the site is not in the Green Belt where specific restrictions apply and personal circumstances may be needed to justify the grant of planning permission; and also that Government policy encourages gypsies to provide their own private sites and this was one such site.

    The Inspector considered that the site was not large enough to be used purely as a transit site, nor was there any evidence to confirm that occupation by other gypsies would necessarily lead to disorderly behaviour.

    As a result the Inspector considered that there would consequently be no conflict with Policy G3 or any worsening in security or increase in crime if the personal permission condition were to be lifted. Given these conclusions, the Inspector found that a personal permission was not necessary.


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