Planning Inspectorate gives approval for 14-pitch travellers' site at Tanhouse Lane in Rangeworthy
RANGEWORTHY residents have spoken of their deep disappointment at a planning inspector’s ruling to allow a 14-pitch travellers’ site just a mile away from a second controversial site.
The entire community joined forces to fight Shannon Parks Ltd’s planning application for Tanhouse Lane in 2011 and was overjoyed when South Gloucestershire Council refused the plans on the grounds of highway safety.
But after taking five months to make a ruling, independent inspector Elizabeth Fieldhouse has overturned the decision and allowed the site to go ahead.
Jan Averis, who led a campaign again another site at Hall End Farm in 2009 which now has permission for five pitches, said: “It is going to be a complete and utter blight on the area. The amount of extra traffic will be a nightmare, we will not be able to ride horses or walk down there any more and we are considering putting up electric gates even though I chose to live in the countryside and if I wanted to live in a gated community I would move to Clifton.
“There are isolated properties around here and I would be fearful of living near the site alone. Even people who don’t live that close will be affected. It will change all of our lives.”
Mrs Averis added: “We put so much of our energy into the first application this was just a nail in the coffin for us.
“We will become the minority and I don’t believe they will even call it a day at the number of pitches it has permission for. It is dreadful and we are incredibly disappointed.”
Cllr Geoff Dawe, chairman of Rangeworthy Parish Council, said: “We are very disappointed about the decision.
“The bottom line is we didn’t think it was an appropriate place for such a site especially as it is so close to the previous one that has been authorised.
“But our views were not accepted by the inspector. Cost would be prohibitive to a judicial review so there is nothing the village can do.”
Mike Marsden, of Wotton Road, said: “I don’t know why they even bothered with an appeal when it has gone against all the local views.
“We are very disappointed that our views were not taken into account and it does make you very sceptical about the process.”
David and Karen Powell, whose luxury home Leechpool Dairy Farm borders the site, have previously said their lives would be ruined if it went ahead. They declined to comment publicly on the appeal decision but said they had no choice but to get on with their lives.
In her appeal decision, Ms Fieldhouse said South Gloucestershire needed an additional 62 residential and 21 transit pitches by 2016.
“That is a matter that is afforded considerable weight,” she said.
“In relation to the nearby residents the proposal would result in a population that would dominate the existing residential occupiers.
“Nevertheless in the wider area of Rangeworthy and adjoining parishes the increase in population would not be disproportionate.”
She said the 3,800 new homes due to be built in north Yate which will border Tanhouse Lane also mean the ratio of residents to travellers would not be unbalanced.
The site has been granted permission for 12 residential pitches, each limited to two caravans, and two transit pitches for one caravan. A 3.5tonne weight limit has been imposed although touring caravans are exempt.