Over 300 fight plans to provide travellers with new campsite for

MORE than 300 people are objecting to controversial plans to build a campsite and community centre for travellers in Barnsley.

Plans have been submitted to create the site, with 20 pitches, in Pogmoor between West Road and the Barnsley to Huddersfield railway.

The area is mainly made up of a small number of factories and workshops, as well as derelict buildings, but there are also residential homes nearby.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Each of the 20 proposed pitches would include an area for a static caravan and the use of half an “amenity building” containing a living room, bathroom and toilet.

Locals objecting to the plans say that a recent traveller encampment set up on nearby land resulted in an increase in crime and anti-social behaviour and this new site could do the same.

Other objectors say;

The site could have an effect on house prices’

There is already a traveller site just two miles away in Smithies.

The caravan site could exacerbate existing traffic problems.

An influx of children in the area could create overcrowding at schools.

Not enough consultation has taken place with locals.

One resident wrote to Barnsley Council: “The gipsy and traveller community do not like mixing with local people and prefer to be on their own, so the site should not be in the middle of a residential area.”

Another opponent pointed out that the applicant, Dennis Lycett, is not a traveller himself and no consultation has taken place with the traveller community.

Other concerns were raised about travellers from elsewhere coming in and joining the site, creating safety issues on the roads and conflict with local residents, and also the possible additional expense to the local authority of enforcing the encampment.

Town planners have come out on the side of locals and also recommended that the planning application is refused when it is considered by councillors at a committee meeting next Tuesday.

Although they admit there is a “significant unmet need” for new traveller sites in Barnsley, and 10 new pitches are needed by the end of this year, they say the Pogmoor site is inappropriate for a number of reasons.

The town planners say that while the site in question is vacant and “would not directly result in loss of existing jobs”, its position close to existing businesses in West Road could “significantly restrict the range of employment uses that adjacent sites could accommodate, in order to ensure adequate levels of amenity were afforded to people living on the proposed site.”

The planners say: “Consequently, as well as losing the employment potential of the site, it is likely that the employment potential of adjacent employment land would be adversely affect- ed.

“In addition to this, evidence clearly points to a restricted supply of employment land in terms of overall scale, range and availability.”

In the report set to go before members of Barnsley Council at Tuesday’s meeting, the town planners say that the site would not “detrimentally impact on existing residents by way of loss of privacy or noise” and would “not be significantly harmful to visual amenity.”

However, they recommend the planning application should be refused due to the possible impact on nearby land designated for employment.

The report says: “The benefit that the proposal will provide, in terms of meeting unmet need for gipsy and traveller provision, is considered insufficient to outweigh the loss of a well-placed and sustainable employment site.

“As such, the requirement to retain an adequate supply of employment land in terms of overall scale, range and availability would be undermined if the site were to be released as a gipsy and traveller site.”