Two separate applications for Gypsy site expansions within the Wokingham area have recently received a positive result thanks to the efforts of ET Planning
Both sites will now be able to create additional pitches within their existing sites; making best use of the land available.
Application No. 1
The first application was for a site located in Finchampstead, Wokingham and it proposed an additional four pitches to go alongside the existing four pitch caravan park. In order to expand to these additional four pitches, the proposal detailed that the site would need to be reconfigured.
The existing site consists of 4 lawful pitches, two amenity blocks and a stable however prior to this application, there was no uniformity to the site.
The planning statement laid out that with a reconfiguration of the site, 8 pitches could be achieved, each accommodating a static mobile home, touring caravan, day room, storage shed outbuilding and amenity space.
The application summarised that the development would provide a valuable contribution to the borough’s need for additional pitches, within an established Gypsy and Traveler site, without adverse effect on the character and appearance of the local area.
This application was approved by planning committee and this then lead on to another positive result for the second gypsy site that ET Planning were supporting.
Application No. 2
The second site, located in Barkham, Wokingham was also looking to achieve a total of eight pitches. The application prepared by ET Planning demonstrated that the existing site which currently accommodates three pitches could be expanded to provide eight pitches with ancillary day rooms and parking if existing buildings were demolished.
This site, much like the first, is not visible from the road and so would have no visible impact on the area. The application proposes to make best use of the land available which is in line with the local plan.
Supporting policies for both sites
There are a number of key policies that were mentioned in both planning statements in support of what each site was trying to achieve.
Firstly, the Government’s Planning Policy for Traveller Sites (PPTS) includes at paragraph 4 a requirement “to ensure that local planning authorities, working collaboratively, develop fair and effective strategies to meet need through the identification of land for sites…..to promote more private traveller site provision while recognising that there will always be those travellers who cannot provide their own sites…and… to increase the number of traveller sites in appropriate locations with planning permission, to address under provision and maintain an appropriate level of supply”.
The next key policy which was highlighted was the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which is again relevant to both applications with Paragraph 38 stating that “Local planning authorities should approach decision on proposed development in a positive and creative way” and “at every level should seek to approve applications for sustainable development where possible”.
Each planning statement also made reference to the how the development of the sites supported the objectives of the local plan.
The site expansion for these two applications has now been approved which is a fantastic result for the clients of ET Planning. The developments will undoubtedly make efficient use of land, which is already deemed appropriate, sustainable and suitable for Gypsy and Traveller development.