Agenda item

Application 13/03998/FU - Position statement - Laying out of traveller site, comprising 12 pitches, ancillary buildings, parking and landscaping - Land off West Side of Cottingley Springs, Gildersome Morley

To consider a report of the Chief Planning Officer setting out the current position in respect of an application for laying out of traveller site, comprising 12 pitches, ancillary buildings, parking and landscaping


(report attached)




  Plans, photographs and drawings were displayed at the meeting.  A Members site visit had taken place earlier in the day

  The Head of Planning Services presented the report which set out the current position on proposals to extend the travellers site at Cottingley Springs, Gildersome

  Members were informed that the site was situated in the Green Belt and that 12 pitches were proposed together with an amenity block and play areas

  Since the report had been written further objections to the application had been received with the total number currently being 670 standard letters of objection; 40 individual letters and a petition

  A recent meeting with the Environment Agency on site had taken place where evidence of flooding had been provided.  This evidence was now being assessed and comments from the Environment Agency were awaited

  If the site did flood, it could mean that the plots closest to the beck would be affected and that three plots could potentially be lost from the site.  An assessment would also need to be undertaken regarding possible compensatory flood storage further down from the site and that this was particularly important in relation to Farnley Wood Beck

  An extensive site search to accommodate further pitches had been undertaken and that there was an immediate need for such accommodation in the City, with Executive Board having concluded that a further extension of the Cottingley Springs site should be considered

  As a Green Belt site, Members were informed that by definition the proposal was inappropriate development however alongside that, the need for facilities for travellers and the flooding issues which had emerged would need to be considered.  A recent appeal case in Warwick which had been dismissed by the Secretary of State had been reported with reference being made to the balance between the development and its impact on the Green Belt

  Members commented on the following matters:

·  that at the Local Development Framework hearing the Inspector had been unhappy with the policy on traveller sites and had requested revisions to be made

·  whether adjacent residents to the site had been offered compensation by the Council.  The Chief Planning Officer advised that he was not aware of compensation being offered

·  the nature of the evidence of flooding.  The Head of Planning Services stated that video evidence had been provided which showed an extent of standing water on the site and the beck with raised water levels

·  that wherever sites are located, there would be local concerns; that the proposed extension would not deal with the wider issues of demand and that smaller sites across the city could be a better way of dealing with this issue

·  possible increased flooding with concerns that Farnley Beck flooded easily and caused widespread problems and that housing development should not be allowed on land which flooded

·  the possibility of waiting for the Inspector’s view on the Council’s policy before considering the proposals

·  the extent of the changes which would be made to the site and the difficulty of reaching a decision in view of that

·  that previous problems had occurred between traveller families on this site which had to be reduced in size to resolve some of the issues

·  the need to focus on the planning issues of the case

The Head of Planning Services stated that further information was

needed on the application; that it was not clear whether any decision on the proposals would need to be referred to the Secretary of State and that ultimately the decision on the application might not rest with the Local Planning Authority

  RESOLVED -  To note the report, the information provided and the comments now made



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