Travellers' Green Belt development granted without hitting ‘special circumstances’ threshold
Councillors have approved plans to extend a travellers' site despite being told the application did not technically meet the 'special circumstances' criteria need for Green Belt development.
Barnsley Council’s planning officers recommended the expansion at The Stables, Willow Bank in Barnsley, be allowed meaning it will be able to house two static caravans along with a tourer and an extension to an ‘amenity block’ which provides facilities for the residents.
Councillors on the planning board questioned whether further expansion would be regarded as acceptable by the council and head of planning Joe Jenkinson explained the application would fail to meet the criteria needed for Green Belt development because those expected to occupy the site were from outside the area and not an expansion of the family already on-site.
That meant the authority would have a strong argument for resisting an appeal if councillors chose to turn down the application, he said.
“Our recommendation is finely balanced, it is a sustainable location, not affected by flood risk. The question is whether it is meeting local need.
“Whether that is enough for us to resist it at appeal is a difficult area. The risk would not be massive if you took a different view to what is in the recommendation.”
Councillors voted to allow the development.