Wed, 08 Jan 2020
A row has erupted over the payment of construction fees at a Woolhampton traveller site.
Last year, the site’s occupants applied for retrospective planning permission for two dayrooms, two mobile homes and two touring caravans, to the west of Hill Place off the A4.
The plans were approved by West Berkshire Council, subject to certain conditions.
Among these was the stipulation that an “intrusive” shed be removed by September 30, and that the construction of the dayrooms be completed by November 30.
But the council said that the scheme has not been finished and Tammy Black – representing residents of the site – is requesting an extension of the conditions until August.
Under English law, developers are required to pay a special charge to the local council on new schemes.
Proceeds from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) are used to finance essential maintenance and public construction projects.
The council said that around £9,000 of CIL is owed.
Woolhampton Parish Council has objected to the application, saying that the applicants did not object to the conditions being applied at the time they were imposed.
Councillors will meet to discuss the scheme at a meeting of the Eastern Area Planning Committee tonight.
The condition change was recommended for approval as “an almost inevitable appeal” would follow.
West Berkshire Council planning officer Michael Butler said: “The reason behind the delay is apparently a dispute with the council as to whether the dayrooms fall within use class C3 … which would be liable to a CIL charge.
“The dayrooms are CIL liable.
“At the time of writing this report, advice is being taken as to whether the mobile homes should also be CIL liable; it is known that council tax is being paid.
“The mobile units are plumbed in for drainage purposes.”
Originally, Ms Black wanted permission to finish the dayrooms by August 2022, but Mr Butler said that this was “far too long a period”.
But Mr Butler added: “If, however, subsequently the revised conditions on that new permission are not satisfied the council would be in a robust position at a later date to take the necessary enforcement action.”