Objections lodged against Gypsy/Traveller site application in Doncaster town​​​​​​​

Doncaster council has received a retrospective application to change a piece of land to house four Gypsy/Traveller pitches in a borough town.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 7:00 pm
The land earmarked for the development on Wilsic Road, on the outskirts of Tickhill

The applicant, listed only as Mr C McDonagh, has applied for a change of use order on land off Wilsic Road in Tickhill to create four Gypsy/Traveller plots comprising the siting of one mobile home and one touring caravan per pitch.

The retrospective application – where planning permission is sought after the development has been built – will be considered by council officers.

The planning agent for the application said whilst the site was on Green Belt land, there were ‘special circumstances’ which meant approval could be achieved.

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Peter Brownjohn, in a submission to DMBC officers, said there was ‘unmet need’ for this type of accommodation and that it would not have a negative impact on the surrounding area.

But the application has gathered several formal objections from residents including a submission from Tickhill Town Council who wants DMBC to shelve the plan and said the site should be ‘returned to agricultural use’.

Council clerk Maxine Booker, said: “Tickhill Town Council is strongly opposed to this application, which is contrary to both national and borough council policies; they state that Green Belt land should not be allocated for Gypsy/Traveller sites without very special circumstances.

“Clearly these do not apply here. A recent Government statement on such sites conceded that ‘it was not providing sufficient protection for our sensitive sites and Green Belts’. This is an opportunity to demonstrate such protection. Doncaster Borough is roughly divided into two by the ECML railway line.

“To the west is Green Belt, to the east is Countryside Policy Area. Although there is more land liable to flooding in the eastern half, there is still ample scope for additional pitches there if the need can be proved.”

But Planning agent Peter Brownjohn, said: “Whilst the site lies within the Green Belt, it is considered that the development proposed is acceptable and that there exists the very special circumstances needed to justify the grant of planning permission for the development.

“The material considerations in favour of a grant of planning permission are that this a scheme that is general policy compliant of the development, with the Local Plan’s criteria-based policies for Gypsy and Traveller development,

“The suitability of the site through its reasonable proximity to services and facilities and the inevitability of new Gypsy/Traveller sites in the borough being located within the countryside, and in areas which will result in conflict with the Development Plan

Also, there is the likely unmet need within the borough resulting from the national increase to household formation rates as well as the lack of suitable alternative sites for the applicant group.”

Council officers are expected to make a decision in the coming months.

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