FOUR gipsy families could be moving into a rural village along with their eight caravans, new plans have revealed.
Patrick Maloney has applied to South Derbyshire District Council for permission to change land at The Castleway, Willington, to use as a caravan site for four families each with two caravans and one static mobile home.
An agent acting on behalf of the application has said in a report to the council that ‘gipsy families need to be visually part of the community, as are residents of nearby homes, and should not be hidden away, ignored or concealed.’
Samuel Brown, planning assistant of agents Philip Brown Associates added that despite the provision of 19 pitches in South Derbyshire being reached last year, it was only a ‘minimum’ number.
Mr Maloney also wants to lay down hardstanding, landscaping and adding two amenity buildings on the land
The agent said: “The proposed caravan site would occupy part of an area of under-used land off Castleway Lane, bounded by roads and hedgerows on all sides
“It would be screened from homes fronting the northern side of Castleway Lane by an existing hedgerow.
“The application site is located within an area of countryside which is not protected by special planning designations and there is, therefore, an acceptable location for a gypsy site in principle.
“Planning policy for traveller sites continues to suggest that gypsy sites may be located in rural and semi-rural areas, and paragraph 23 only advocates strict control in the countryside, ‘away from settlements’. In this case, the site is close to the edge of Willington, and is not, therefore, away from this settlement.”
The report also said wider consideration should be given to sustainability with benefits of the site being ‘easier access to doctors, children attending school on a regular basis, and the provision of a settled base reduces the need for long distance or frequent travelling and possible environmental damage caused by unauthorised encampment.’
A decision is due to be made by May 8.