The following application can be viewed on the Rochford District Council website by clicking on the following link, you can comment on the application by following the instructions on the Rochford District Council website.
Planning Services & Transportation Services
Essex SS4 1BW 31st December 2011
Dear Mr Stranks
RE: Planning Application 11/00741/COU
Applicant Mr G White
Land Opposite 2 Goldsmith Drive Rayleigh Essex
Change of use from Agricultural land to Travelling Show people’s site.
Further to your letter enclosing a copy of the submitted plans and application in respect of the proposal detailed above Rawreth Parish Council would like to make the following observations and comments as a neighbouring Council with a parish boundary bordering and including parts of Goldsmiths Drive.
Having considered the application Council believe that to change the use of agricultural land to provide a site for Travelling Show people is inappropriate use of Green Belt land (PPG2). The extra caravans for residential use and the buildings and storage required to maintain and repair showground equipment on this site would be detrimental to the scene within the Green Belt. The very special circumstances as quoted in 5.14 (page 14) of the Planning Statement do not in anyway outweigh the harm and damage to the Green Belt.
Further more Council have noted that there does not appear to be any risk assessment or waste management plan accompanying the application. Council consider that given the potential pollution threat from the maintenance of vehicles and plant equipment on the site and potential waste such as oil and fats from any catering vans, both an assessment and management plan should have been undertaken. In addition Council would also enquire if an appropriate wildlife survey has been undertaken? The site in question lies in close proximity to neighbouring fishing lakes, and in addition Council would raise concerns about the threat of potential pollution to those lakes.
Council also consider that there can be no greater harm to the Green Belt and surrounding area than covering this entire area of agricultural land with hard standing.
Lastly having considered the submitted documents in their entirety Council have noted two things. First reference is made in the Planning Statement 5.8 to 5.10 to the site currently used by the families proposing to move to the application site. From the Planning Portal section of Chelmsford Borough Councils website Council have noted that the site known as Hassenbrook Victoria Road Chelmsford currently has permission for what would appear to be winter period only this is shown under reference 83/1920 or Alternative Reference: CHL/1920/83 Address: Hassenbrook Victoria Road Writtle Chelmsford Essex CM1 3PB Proposal: CONTINUATION OF USE FOR CARAVAN AND EQUIPMENT FOR WINTER PERIOD Status: Application Permitted, however the application for the land at Goldsmiths Drive is for permanent use. Council would therefore question “the needs” for the application site, is it because Hassenbrook is overcrowded or in addition is it because Hassenbrook only provides residence over the winter period. Therefore there is clearly a material difference between the two sites, and this is also demonstrated in the supporting documents as Council note that not all planning permission that has been granted following appeals on other sites has been for permanent use. In addition under planning reference 06/02464/FUL a proposal for a pitch for a temporary period of one year. adjoining pitch no. 25 at Hassenbrook was refused, no appeal was made and permission was not granted on what is already quoted as an established site and the current residence of those wishing to move to the applicant site. Secondly in the Planning Statement 5.15 reference is made to appeal decisions where “the suitability of a site and lack of alternative provision have been concluded to constitute very special circumstances outweighing harm to the Green Belt arising from the inappropriateness” Examples are quoted, and attached in Appendix 6, one being Grassy Piece Copse Aldershot. Having looked at this particular example Council noted that although four appeals were made for this particular site, only one was against the decision of Guildford Borough Council to refuse planning permission for the change of use from agricultural land continuing use as permanent residence for travelling show people. The three remaining appeals which are quoted were all against the failure of the same council to give notice within the prescribed period of a decision on an application for planning permission, and not as suggested for the refusal of planning permission. Therefore these three appeal examples are irrelevant as examples of appeal decisions where the suitability of a site and lack of alternative provision have been concluded to constitute very special circumstances
In closing Council would reiterate that this development is inappropriate use of the Green Belt with potential harmful effects in respect of pollution, there are no special circumstances which outweigh the harm to the Green Belt and the supporting documents clearly show that other sites across the country for Travelling Show People differ enormously in location, permitted use, the type of planning permission granted and the permitted size of the sites and should therefore not be used as a bench mark for this application.
Mrs Hayley Bloomfield
Clerk to Rawreth Parish Council