Tue, 21 Aug 2018
A RETROSPECTIVE planning application for the continued use of agricultural land for storing caravans and motor-homes in Little London has been refused by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.
The application, submitted by Phillip Snook, concerned land south of Berry Court Solar Farm on New Road. This is currently registered as agricultural land, but is being used for secure storage of approximately 80 touring caravans and motorhomes.
The application included the additional installation of 12 four- metre-high poles to mount security lights and cameras.
At Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s development control meeting on Wednesday, August 8, the committee refused the application on the grounds that the use being applied for does not have a locational need to be in the countryside.
Additionally, it was not demonstrated that the application does not adversely affect the local biodiversity, while there were also concerns regarding drainage and contamination.
Nearly 200 letters were received by the planning department regarding this proposal, with a large number in support of the application.
Councillor Nicholas Robinson (Con) said at the meeting: “In regard to the letters of support, one of them says secure storage within one hour is hard to find.
“That indicates that people are coming from quite some distance. So it’s not a local need.
“If people are looking for storage within an hour we could be talking about people storing their caravans who virtually live in Southampton. That is not satisfying a local need.
“Another from the Reading caravan park mentions a shortage of storage in Hampshire and Berkshire area.
“We’re not looking at the people from Bramley or Basingstoke storing their caravans here. We are looking at people from a larger area.”
A number of the letters of support for the application were from people who store their caravans on the site and live in Southampton, Reading, Basing-stoke, Fleet, Hook and Thatcham.
Many of the objections came from Little London residents.
Mr Snook will have six months to cease the use of the land as a caravan storage park. He will be granted a further three months to remove all the operational development that has taken place, which includes bunding over roots of trees and hedgerow, access, hardstanding and tracks.