EXPANSION of an existing gipsy site in Coalpit Heath could be given the go-ahead because of the special circumstances of the family living there.

Larry Harvey wants to add an extra two static caravans to the site in Henfield Road and be allowed to store up to five touring caravans.

The mobile homes will be occupied by his immediate family members, who will also use existing facilities on the land, known as Henfield Paddock.

The site is already earmarked for intensification by two pitches in an emerging policy document that refers to gipsy and traveller provision in South Gloucestershire, which says 46 extra pitches need to be provided up to 2028.

But Westerleigh Parish Council has opposed the application.

It said it would lead to overdevelopment of the site, which is in the green belt, and lead to more traffic using a dangerous bend.

More than 30 letters of objection have also been submitted by local residents and businesses, claiming a devaluation of neighbouring properties and extra noise if the expansion was allowed.

They said the paddock was too close to neighbours and the use was inappropriate for the area.

But planning officer Marie Bath said Mr Harvey had put forward "a very strong case" of special circumstances in support of the application, including the unmet need for further sites for gipsies and travellers.

One of the caravans would be occupied by his daughter and her family and the other by his son and his family.

Ms Bath is expected to recommend approval of the scheme when she makes a report to the development control east committee at 3pm today in Kingswood Civic Centre.

She said: "The occupants have local connections and there is little or no prospect of the present occupants finding an alternative gipsy and traveller site locally."