Thu, 09 Jan 2020
West Berkshire Council has granted a conditional extension to allow residents at a Woolhampton caravan site more time to carry out improvement work.
At an eastern area planning committee meeting last night (Wed), the committee resolved unanimously to extend the timeframe afforded to the site’s occupants to make changes demanded by the council.
Under the new arrangements, a set of dayrooms on the site will have to be completed by August.
Their completion had been expected by November 2019, and the meeting heard that the builders owe the council £9,000 in construction levies.
However, legislation requires the authorities to take into account the financial circumstances of Gypsies and Travellers when making planning decisions.
As a result, the committee has allowed for some leeway, provided a number of additional criteria are met by developers.
Councillor Graham Pask said: “May I emphasise that nobody’s being awkward here?
“This condition only exists by exception, because of Gypsy accomodation.
“If any other people were to live on that site – who weren’t Gypsies or Travellers –, I can assure you that I would be strongly reccommending enforcement action.”
Tony Renouf – representing Woolhampton Parish Council, which had opposed the new planning application lodged for the site – was in attendance.
He stressed that, due to the new conditions imposed, the council was now supporting the extension.
Mr Renouf stated: “Woolhampton Parish Council considered in October this application, and decided to oppose it.
“Given the changes made to the application, the parish council’s position is no longer valid, and is withdrawn.
“The parish council believe that, attached to those special considerations, there must be an obligation on behalf of the applicants to abide by the laws.”