Decision on caravan site changes delayed by councillors

Councillors have delayed their decision on proposed changes to a residential caravan site so they can visit to check the rest of the development is being carried out in line with approved plans.

Land off Stokes Lane in Norton Canes. Photo: Google
Land off Stokes Lane in Norton Canes. Photo: Google

Consent was granted by Cannock Chase Council last year for four gypsy families to live on the site on land of Stokes Lane, Norton Canes.

The permission allowed caravans to be parked on the land, as well as a dayroom and three utility buildings to be constructed.

Now a fresh application has been put forward to change the layout by combining two of the utility buildings into one block.

The amendment has been recommended for approval by council planning officers. And Cannock Chase Council’s planning committee heard on Wednesday that the changes would not increase the area occupied by the utility facilities.

Councillors asked to visit the site before they make their decision however so they could see how the rest of the development is progressing.

Concerns were raised that caravans had been moved onto the site before permission for residential use had been granted.

An application for stabling of horses on the land was granted in 2019 but this did not include consent for residential use.

Councillor Samantha Thompson, who proposed the site visit at Wednesday’s meeting, said: “I understand people have to live somewhere and we don’t have enough travellers’ pitches. However I don’t agree with them coming in, asking for a stable and automatically moving caravans on site.

“We took what they said in good faith. You can’t blame us for being dubious in what they ask for.”

Councillor Lisa Wilson said: “It seems this is getting bigger and bigger. They applied for stabling with the condition that nobody could live on there and now we have ended up where we are.

“What comes next? If they’re seeking permission for something there local families need to be informed so they can put objections in.”

Councillor Gerald Molineux said: “I think we should keep a closer eye on what they do and someone should go out and monitor what’s supposed to be there. We started off with a site for animals.”

Planning officer Richard Sunter told the committee that consent had already been granted for the two utility blocks set to be combined into a single building, but work had not yet started on them.

He added that the latest application was not a retrospective one and changes to approved plans did come forward for other developments on occasion, such as the Designer Outlet West Midlands where a number of amendments have been made since planning permission was first granted.

Committee chairman Councillor Paul Startin said: “This council has a history of not making appropriate provision for gypsies and travellers and we have to make provision for these people.”

Most Read

Most Read

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News