Staffordshire caravan site plans return decade after being thrown out

Plans have been put forward for a Romany gypsy caravan site on farmland near a busy road – almost a decade after a previous proposal was thrown out by councillors.

The A518 Newport Road And Radmore Lane Near Gnosall
The A518 Newport Road And Radmore Lane Near Gnosall

Applicant Mary Lee’s bid for a pitch on land, in Radmore Lane, Gnosall, was rejected by Stafford Borough Council in 2012 because it was not demonstrated that there was an overriding need to develop the site in open countryside. There were also concerns that the plans would result in the loss of green field land and harm the appearance of the rural area.

A new application has now been lodged for a private site for one family,with a day room and two mobile homes and four touring caravans.

Gnosall and Woodseaves ward representative Councillor Mike Smith has called in the application for discussion by the planning committee.

Councillor Smith said: “The application does not demonstrate local need to develop the site in open countryside and that it could not be reasonably be provided on a more appropriate site such as previously developed land. There are highways issues in respect of visibility.”

Around five people have objected to the plans siting road safety concerns along the neighbouring A518 Newport Road.

There is little room for large vehicles to turn onto the lane and certainly no room for vehicles of this size to pass other oncoming vehicles. The proposed site is clearly visible from the A518 and will have a negative visual impact on anyone approaching the village of Gnosall.

A Newport Road resident said: “This is an inappropriate development which will cause an undesirable intrusion into the green fields and countryside which separates Gnosall from Newport. There is no precedence for this totally unnecessary and undesirable development application and it will certainly be a permanent blot on the landscape for generations of the local community and everyone driving into rural Staffordshire.

“Since the first planning application was made in 2011, three substantial housing developments have been completed in the village of Gnosall. We live on the A518 within 240 metres of the proposed development and we have observed a significant increase in traffic on this stretch of the A518. This is no doubt due in part to the increase in our local population using their vehicles.

“At present the site is rural agricultural land where sheep may safely graze without electricity, mains water or human effluent disposal facilities. The installation of a septic tank would require drainage extending onto the adjoining agricultural land. Additionally there will be a significant increase in the collection of recycling waste from the residents and itinerant visitors.”

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