Site visit before application to extend gypsy traveller site decided

An application to extend a gypsy traveller site next to a residential complex will be visited by planners before any decision is made, despite a recommendation it be turned down.

Nelson Jones and Sylvie Jones had applied for two additional gypsy traveller pitches, a shared day room, a new hay shed/store and an update of a previously- approved layout on land adjacent to Pincheston Farm residential complex, Sageston.

A report for planners said the proposed two pitches would be sited along the eastern boundary of the application site and opposite the existing pitches at the site, which borders Pincheston Farm, a former agricultural complex has been converted into a number of residential units.

Each would include a static residential caravan, space for a touring caravan, car parking spaces and access to a detached single storey utility / day room with a home working office attached.

The application, recommended for refusal, had been brought to the committee rather than being decided under delegated powers following a request by the local councillor.

Reasons for refusal included visual intrusion when viewed from the nearby A477 trunk road, a harmful effect on the character and appearance of the countryside, and the proposed development would lead to an increased use of the single lane access track resulting in inconvenience to users from being unable to pass.

“The subsequent adverse impact on residential amenity would hinder the peaceful and integrated co-existence between the site and the local community,” the report added.

Local community council Carew objected to the application due to an impact on community relations, the design of the development would impact on neighbouring occupiers, the site is too close to neighbouring properties, and the development would have a detrimental impact on amenity.

Ten letters of objection were also received, raising similar issues.

Agent Andrew Vaughan-Harries expressed his disappointment at the recommendation for refusal, adding: “The family has grown, currently they live in Castle Quarry [Pembroke] and have two pitches for five adults and two children; Castle Quarry has issues, a lot of investment is needed there.”

He said the applicants had owned the site for 18 years, and that a concern about potential hostility “really isn’t there”.

He said as many as 46 pitches were needed for travellers in south Pembrokeshire in the next decade, adding: “The need is ever-growing; Pembrokeshire has done a lot for travellers in this county, but I’m worried that the public purse will not be available to do an extension to Castle Quary or Kingsmoor [Kilgetty] again.”

Local member Cllr Vanessa Thomas said there was no viable access to the site, and it would have a “detrimental effect on this peaceful rural community”.

Councillor Brian Hall moved a site visit be undertaken before any decision was made, backed by Councillor Tim Evans.

Tenby councillor Michael Williams called on his fellow councillors to support the officers’ recommendation of refusal: “There’s a clear recommendation; we’ve heard from the local member. We must support both the officers and the local member.”

Members voted eight to six in favour of a site visit; the application returning to a future planning meeting.

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