Traveller family fail in second bid for caravan site in Waltham

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Councillors have stuck to their guns in refusing permission for a traveller family to turn land in Waltham into a gypsy caravan site.

An application to change pasture land off Goadby Road into a site for up to six caravans, with grazing for horses, was rejected by Melton Council’s planning committee on Thursday.

It considered the site was in an unsustainable location, that use of the access would increase hazards to vehicles, that the caravans would be readily visible, being only partially screened by hedgerows, and that the proposal was contrary to planning policies. The committee also resolved the site wasn’t suitable for grazing of horses.

Applicant Raab Truswell had told the council the permission would have been for temporary use of the site - for as long as senior family members needed to live there.

It was also highlighted there was an identified need for gypsy accommodation within the Melton district.

But the council’s decision notice read: “The benefits in terms of meeting overall need that is currently unmet and the family’s particular health considerations are not considered to be of such significance as to outweigh the significant and demonstrable adverse impacts identified.”

The Truswell family had previously submitted plans to turn the land into a private gypsy caravan site, for up to eight caravans.

That application was also refused, on similar grounds, in April 2014.

The council has since issued an enforcement notice requiring the site to be vacated and restored to its former condition but this wasn’t complied with. This led to the council applying for a court order to vacate the site, with a High Court hearing set to be held on February 16.