Caravan compound for M6 construction workers can stay
A compound for up to 22 caravans can stay in place at a south Staffordshire farm on green belt land.
The site at Bognop Road, Essington, is used by motorway workers, who stay there four nights a week while a highway construction project is taking place.
Temporary permission has already been granted for the compound twice – in 2013 and 2015 – and this month it was renewed for a further two years.
An officers’ report presented to South Staffordshire Council’s planning committee said: "This application is retrospective as a number of caravans are presently on the site.
"The caravans do not have a fixed position as they move on and off the site, with no more than 22 allowed at any time. Sanitary facilities for the workmen are provided in the existing building.
"The caravans are used by workers currently involved on a variety of highway projects including smart motorway construction and preliminary works in preparation for the M54/M6 link. Therefore, the need for the base to be located with good access to motorway links is justified.
"The project was set up by the Highways Agency and the temporary planning permission gives the opportunity for the need to be reviewed in the future. The caravans are tourers, not statics and are owned individually by the workmen and therefore are easily mobile.
"The temporary nature of the proposal and the temporary nature of the structures which can easily be removed when the planning permission lapses, combined with providing a facility to accommodate workmen who are conducting works on the motorway, benefitting not only the district but the national highway network, in my view amount to very special circumstances required to justify inappropriate development within the green belt."
South Staffordshire Council received no objections to the application.
Councillor Bob Cope, ward member for the Hilton area, said: "There has been a temporary permission for seven years and it has been ongoing during the ‘smart motorway’ work.
"They will be doing the M6 and M54 work shortly.
"I have no objection to continue the temporary permission. When the work ceases I would expect this to cease."