Residents fear up to 40 people could end up living on a proposed permanent Traveller site situated in open countryside, if a controversial planning application is given the go-ahead.
Nineteen people have objected to the application for land off Featherbed Lane, Shuttlewood, raising concerns that although the proposal is only for three pitches, there could end up being between 30 and 40 people living there.
The application, which is due to be discussed by Bolsover District Council’s Planning Committee tomorrow (March 1), has been recommended by approval by officers.
A planning report states: “The proposal is for three pitches, each of which may contain a mobile home, one touring caravan and two parking spaces to facilitate the occupant’s travelling lifestyle.
“The proposal includes the hard surfacing of the site to facilitate year round access.”
Residents writing anonymously commented that each pitch could accommodate more than one family and multiple cars, adding that an existing stable block on the site could be converted into residential accommodation, leading them to believe between 30 and 40 people could end up living on the land.
However the planning report continues: “Each pitch must only be used for the residential use of one mobile home, located as shown on the approved plan, and for the storage of one touring caravan.
“No residential occupation of any touring caravan is permitted within the site at any time.”
One objector stated: “This proposal is contrary to the council’s framework, which seeks to safeguard the intrinsic qualities and locally distinctive character of the countryside, it goes against the council’s own local plan to avoid new developments in the countryside.”
Other residents commented upon the poor condition of Featherbed Lane itself, and the possibility that the addition of numerous vehicles could further deteriorate it and cause traffic problems.
In recommending the application for approval, planning officers concluded the proposal was ‘not considered harmful to the rural character of the area or to residential amenity or highway safety’.
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