Gypsy pitch proposal is turned down by council

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PLANS to establish a ‘gypsy pitch’ in Bardwell have been turned down following a site visit by councillors.

The application, submitted in April last year, proposed using land in Glassfield Road, on the border of Bardwell and Stanton, to station a touring caravan and static mobile home to create a single gypsy pitch for use by ‘Gypsies and Travellers’.

It also proposed building a stable block, with three loose boxes and a tack store, and a single-storey building to use as a dayroom, with a kitchen area and a bathroom.

Taking account of objections from Bardwell and Stanton parish councils and hundreds from residents expressing ‘a wide range of concerns’, last Thursday councillors from St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s development control committee carried out a site visit.

Officers had recommended that planning permission be approved, subject to a list of conditions.

But councillors have refused it.

A spokeswoman for the council said: “This application was refused on the grounds of the intrusive nature of the proposal on open countryside and the detrimental effect it would cause.”

Peter Sanderson, chairman of Bardwell Parish Council, said: “We’re very pleased at the decision of the council last Thursday but I think it’s very likely that the applicant will appeal so I don’t believe that we’re at the end of the situation by any means.

“It could be quite a long drawn out affair yet. We just have to wait and see what transpires.”

The applicant, Miss Oakley, was unavailable for comment.

John Hale, borough councillor for the ward concerned, said he believed the ‘right decision’ had been made as there were other sites within the borough more suitable for the proposed plans than ‘slap bang in the middle of the countryside’.

He also expected the decision to be appealed and said it remained a ‘sensitive issue’.

Kelvin McDonald, chairman of Stanton Parish Council, said: “It’s not the sort of development, it’s where it is - there should be consistency.”

An application which proposed changing the use of the same area of land was turned down in 2008 because of the ‘need to preserve the countryside character and appearance’.