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Plans for traveller caravan plot to be built in Brimpton Common refused by West Berkshire Council

Plans to put a gypsy traveller caravan plot on land in the village of Brimpton Common have been refused by West Berkshire Council.

Dozens of objections were lodged from angry villagers claiming the applicant has already breached the rules by creating a road entrance to the field.

West Berkshire Council
West Berkshire Council

The applicant wants to change the use of the land and put a mobile caravan, a touring caravan pitch and a day room on the site, plus grazing land for horses.

But he has put the villagers’ backs up, prompting a flood of protest.

“I object to the application, first and foremost; the applicant has no respect for the process and rules which is displayed by the illegal entrance that has been created,” wrote one resident.

“It appears there is a sense of I will do what I want with no care for process.

“Where would this attitude stop when there is a clear and defined process for this?

“The size of the site will not be able to accommodate a home, caravan and day room as to be able to enter through the illegal entrance would not be fit for this so there would be more need for more destruction of trees to let the dwellings into the proposed site.

“Secondly, this land is unfit for a dwelling of any sort and the reason why there is no building on this land due to the field flooding.”

The council is currently three pitches short of meeting its overall requirement in the short term, when taking the supply of Paices Hill, Four Houses Corner and Ermin Street, Lambourn, into account.

The council further needs 17 pitches in the long term.

But it rejected the application for a number of reasons, principally that Brimpton Common, while not a nationally designated landscape, has an attractive open nature and character, which contributes to the area’s quality.

“The proposed introduction of the new gypsy caravan pitch along with the day room and the new access road serves to harm and diminish this inherent natural quality,” wrote the council.

Despite a request from the local highways authority it said the applicant has not supplied details of the existing (unauthorised) access to the application site, or demonstrated adequate visibility splays from the proposed access in accordance with the speed of the road, or adequate turning space for large vehicles within the site, to the satisfaction of the highways authority.

It said the access combined with the lack of such visibility and inadequate turning spaces for large vehicles would result in an unacceptable degree of hazard to all highway users to the detriment of highway safety.

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