TRAVELLERS will be allowed to stay on land in South Derbyshire after the Planning Inspectorate overturned a district council decision.
Permission has now been granted for equestrian land opposite the Cricketts Inn, in Acresford Road, Acresford, to be used as a residential gipsy caravan site. However, the condition of the application states that permission is granted for only one pitch accommodating no more than two caravans.
The first application was submitted in June 2012 and was refused on June 26, 2013. In July 2011, an enforcement notice was issued for the removal of the caravan, portable toilet and hardcore materials as well as a reduction in height of a timber fence.
Inspector Claire Sherratt noted in her report that the council was of the opinion that insufficient detailed information was submitted to demonstrate that a connection could be made to the main sewer, with no alternative offered. However, in consideration of the appeal, she said: "Overall, I am satisfied that a connection to the main sewer is feasible. Such a connection would ensure the appropriate management of foul effluent from the development in accordance with the Water Quality Management Plan."
She also said she had no concerns with regards to the visual impact the site would have on the surrounding area. She said: "It is well screened from Acresford Road by existing vegetation and I observed only long-distance views from elsewhere. Against the backdrop of the hedge a one-pitch caravan site would not appear intrusive, and further hedge and tree planting is proposed."
Any concerns raised by residents that the decision could lead to more itinerants arriving at the site were also addressed in the report, which stated that further permission would be required should the owner look to expand the site.
Ms Sherratt added: "I acknowledge concerns that the wider field could, in terms of its physical size, accommodate additional pitches and caravans. However, the proposal is for one pitch and must be assessed on this basis. A condition would be necessary to restrict any permission to one pitch and no more than two caravans."