Gypsy family given temporary consent

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TEMPORARY planning permission has been handed to a travelling family to allow them to remain in Gosberton Clough.

Councillors on South Holland District Council’s planning committee have allowed the use of a site on Beck Bank to be changed for five years after discussing the plans for a second time.

The Bower family’s retrospective plans for the three traveller pitches at Cockrams Yard had been deferred last month to allow councillors to have a site visit.

They had raised several concerns about the impact the site would have on the community, particularly with an illegal site still operating in nearby Broad Drove.

On Wednesday, the committee agreed on the temporary permission but warned council officers they want issues over the larger illegal site resolved quickly.

A site visit had taken place earlier the same day.

Coun Howard Johnson said: “I went on the site visit and the site itself is clean and tidy. The visual impact, wherever you look at it, was virtually non-existent.

“Clearly the issue is not this particular site, it’s with Broad Drove. We are all aware of the history with that and I personally wish it would vanish and vanish quickly.”

Coun Bob Creese said he would also like to see the council solve the Broad Drove issue “as soon as possible”.

“On this application the two static homes that are there at the moment stick out a bit like a sore thumb because of their colour,” he said.

Coun Creese said he would like attempts to be made to match the static homes to the colour of the outbuilding on the yard.

Coun Bryan Alcock said he might not find the homes “quite so incongruous” if they were a “more muted colour”.

Coun Alcock also sought assurances that if new planning guidance was brought into effect within the next five years, it would be used to review the site when permission lapses.

Councillors voted 13-0 in favour of giving temporary permission, and also added a condition asking for the applicant to review the colour of the static homes.

After last month’s planning meeting, South Holland District Council ruled out enforcement action against the Broad Drove site.

The authority confirmed it would be unlikely to succeed in winning legal support from the courts to remove the residents because the council has failed to find a suitable alternative.

“Significant resources” are said to be devoted to finding a solution.