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Staffordshire Gypsy caravan site plan sparks 248 objections

By January 15, 2022Site plan

Hundreds of people oppose plans for a gypsy caravan site on the edge of a rural village.

The proposed land at Radmore Lane, Gnosall, near Stafford, came nearly a decade after a previous application was turned down by Stafford Borough Council.

More than 260 people opposed the 2011 application, which was rejected because it had not been shown that there was a compelling need to develop the site in the middle of the countryside. It was also feared that the plans would lead to the loss of virgin land and detract from the appearance of the rural area.

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Today, 248 people opposed the latest proposals for a private gypsy site for one family, with a day room and no more than two mobile homes and four traveling caravans.

Stone MP Sir Bill Cash, Gnosall Parish Council and campaign group Grid (Gnosall Resists Indiscriminate Development) are among the opponents.

Sir Bill said: ‘The proposed development is unsuitable and does not match the nearby homes and rural character of the area and would result in a loss of green land. This type of open country development would be visually detrimental to the surrounding area and would be highly visible in the local landscape.

“The proposed development would aggravate existing traffic problems on the A518 and the site would be accessed via an unlit junction on a section of the road which has a 60mph speed limit. The entrance to the site is around a sharp bend in Radmore Lane, which is a single lane country lane. It is unsuitable for heavy goods vehicles towing mobile homes and caravans.

The parish council said: ‘The claimant is already housed in Donnington so there are no welfare cases to consider. Even if such an argument were made, there are at least 36-39 Stafford Borough Council sites available.

“There is no compelling need demonstrated at this location. A pristine site in a rural area should not be used for a gypsy residential site. There are most likely suitable sites on brownfield sites or previously used land closer of urban areas (of) the borough of Stafford.

A resident of Glendower Close said: ‘It is a completely misguided proposition to try and enforce an award-winning scenic village. The proposed site is clearly visible from the A518 and will have a visual impact on anyone approaching the village of Gnosall.

“This is a development that will cause an intrusion into the green fields and countryside that separate Gnosall from Newport. There is no precedent for this utterly useless application and development and it will certainly be a permanent stain on the landscape for generations of the local community and anyone who drives in rural Staffordshire.

“We are traveling on the A518, passing the development project and we have observed a significant increase in traffic on this section of the A518. This is no doubt partly due to the increase in our local population using their vehicles.

“The site is rural farmland where sheep can safely graze without electricity, running water or human effluent disposal facilities. Installation of a septic tank would require drainage extending into adjoining farmland Additionally, there will be a significant increase in recycling waste collection from residents and visitors.

A Radmore Lane resident said: ‘Safety would be compromised on the adjacent road network due to the nature of the traffic the site would generate, inadequate turning arrangements at Radmore Lane and off the A518.

“Since 2011 there has been even more traffic on the A518 due to the Gnosall housing estates and there have been many more serious accidents which means there are even more reasons this time to refuse the application than in 2011. The increase in traffic makes this application dangerous for the community as well as the applicants and their families.

But seven letters of support were also sent to the council.

A resident of Coton said: “There is no difference between a few public transport vans towing a caravan and the dozens of big tractors towing huge trailers and various agricultural machinery that travels this road all the time. And caravans do not spread mud all over the road unlike tractors.

“If approval of this application means that their other fields in the center of the village on Station Road are left unoccupied, then I am in favor. If, however, their plan is to occupy both Radmore Lane and their fields on Station Road, then I oppose it.

And one Station Road resident said: ‘It should be allowed because it’s better to have this caravan site in a field outside the village than to have it in the fields which belong to travelers right in the middle of the village by Co-op.

“And the worries around trailers turning into Radmore lane causing danger on 518 – it’s no different than all the massive tractors with their huge trailers going up and down the lane all day and keeping traffic going, a transit with a trailer is no different.”

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