A gipsy caravan site on green belt land in South Staffordshire is to expand, under plans unveiled today.
The development would create seven new caravan pitches on Bursnips Road in Essington, as well as a day room and seven ‘utility blocks’.
It comes after a previous application to build a fence and gates at the site was dismissed in 2009, on the grounds that it would be an inappropriate use of green belt land.
Essington Parish Council chairman Councillor David Clifft said the new plans were ‘the latest in a long list of unwanted developments in Essington’s green belt’.
He said: “This is a major planning application and will have a large impact not only on the green belt, but also the village’s infrastructure.
“Such an application would put pressure on the local school and other public services.”
He added: “I have called in the application to come before South Staffordshire Council’s planning committee.
“I will be meeting with residents and Essington Parish Council to discuss the application in the next few weeks.”
The applicant, Mr Clee, has lived at the site since 1987, together with his family, who are Romany gipsies.
The new application seeks to increase the number of caravan pitches there from eight to 15, some of which would be outside the area of land currently occupied by the family.
An application document submitted to South Staffordshire Council says the extension would be used only to accommodate the Clee family, three generations of which live together on the land.
The document continues: “All of these individuals have grown up on the application site but had to move off due to the existing planning conditions.
“The purpose of this application is to accommodate the household formation that has occurred since planning permission was originally granted in 1987.
“As is the custom with traditional gypsies, the family lives in an extended family group, comprising three generations.
“The extension of this very well-run site is to accommodate Mr Clee’s son, daughter, nephews and nieces within the extended gypsy family tradition.”
A public consultation has now opened and the plans will be available to view online within the coming days.