Councillors might U-turn on migrant workers’ homes

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A long drawn out wrangle over an “illegal” mobile homes site for lorry drivers on a farm at Deeping St Nicholas is finally due for a decision by South Holland councillors.

And a U-turn could be on the cards with council planning officers recommending consent rather than following up on previous wishes of members who wanted to see the mobile homes booted off.

Ray Turner Labour submitted a retrospective planning application for 43 mobile homes on land at Bar Farm, Main Road, on October 29 2009.

According to South Holland District Council’s planning department, the application was due to be decided in January 2010.

Now – almost a year-and-a-half on – it will go to the council planning committee tomorrow (Wednesday) with officers recommending temporary consent is given until December 31 2014.

That decision would fly in the face of a string of residents’ objections and an official warning over fire safety and poor sanitation at the site.

Similar planning applications in 2005 and 2006 were refused by the council.

In November 2005 councillors gave authority to serve an enforcement notice to put a stop to use of the site for mobile homes.

But council officers failed to pursue that and the mobile homes have remained there since.

When the latest application was submitted, the then clerk to Deeping St Nicholas Parish Council wrote to the district council in November 2009 to underline her council’s long-standing objection.

The letter said: “The parish council strongly object to the application as they have always objected to previous applications on the grounds that it is illegal, does not comply with the local plan and the workers are not involved in agricultural work.

“It was thought that this was going to enforcement, as all previous applications have been refused.”

Environmental health technician Rachel Krahmer told the planning department: “Fire safety on the site is inadequate.

“Also there is insufficient sanitation and drainage facilities.

“If you are minded to grant this application I would ask that a comprehensive site management plan is provided with details of an onsite manager who will oversee the site 24/7.”