Second gypsy site application in Thornbury
A ROMANY gypsy family have made public their intention to create a caravan pitch just yards away from another proposed travelling showpeople’s site in Thornbury.
The Butlers have lodged an application with South Gloucestershire Council for a twin unit caravan, two touring caravans and a day room on 1.63 hectares of land off Oldbury Lane.
The scheme comes less than two months after travelling showmen submitted plans to settle down on 12 pitches at Lower Morton, with a proposed access off the very same lane.
Thornbury town and district Cllr Maggie Tyrrell told the Gazette this new application would be strongly opposed by leaders.
"It is outside the town development boundary and we would always object to that," she said. "There will inevitably be traffic issues on that road. There are some basic principles that this would not comply with as far as the council is concerned."
In August, six gypsy caravan pitches at Tytherington Road nursery were unanimously backed by planning chiefs despite virulent opposition from nearby residents and town leaders.
Council officers had argued that creating a new travellers' site was necessary to meet government quotas for gypsy caravan accommodation.
"South Gloucestershire Council will have to decide whether there is sufficient supply of gypsy and traveller sites," added Cllr Tyrrell. "Permission was given for one gypsy and traveller site in the area already and I would hope that there is enough now."
As part of the proposal at Oldbury Lane, a grassed area in the north east corner of the pitch would be used as a children’s play area.
Oldbury Parish Council chairman, Barry Turner, who along with his fellow leaders objected to the travelling showpeople's proposals at Lower Morton last month on road safety grounds, said he was concerned about this second scheme right next door.
“The application is not in my parish but it does raise concerns particularly coming on top of the Duckhole showmen’s site and the road they want to construct onto, Oldbury Lane, which we have objected to on the grounds of road safety in particular,” he told the Gazette. “There has been one fatality and two recent accidents over the past three years. A car drove into a telephone pole and another car lost control on the bend, flying across the ditch and finishing up on the farmer's land."
But Thornbury North district Cllr Clare Fardell was more circumspect. Although sympathetic to residents' potential concerns, she pointed out that gypsies and travelling showpeople were subject to different planning policies.
"I do think it is unfortunate that the law treats showmen and travellers differently," she said. "It does annoy the public but it is the law. Legally these applications are not judged in the same way as for you or I. But I'm very much in favour of people expressing their views about this. It is well worth investigating if a lot of people think something is not right about the application."
Comments are closed on this article.