Councillors overturn officers recommendation to approve Barnsley caravan and motor home site

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Councillors have voted to approve a holiday caravan and motor home site, overturning a recommendation for refusal from planning officers.

Members of Barnsley Council’s planning board today (June 7) voted to approve the plans for the 0.135 ha site, at Mapplewell Meadows Farm at Hill End Road.

The scheme came before the planning board in April, but members voted to defer making a decision until they had undertaken a site visit, which took place this morning.

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Proposal for Barnsley caravan and motorhome site recommended for refusal
Hill End RoadHill End Road
Hill End Road

Approval was granted for a change of use of the site for up to 25 touring caravans and motor homes, with access taken from Hill End Road.

The site, formerly part of the National Coal Board network of mines, would be open seven months a year, and is set within the green belt.

Planning officers had recommended that the scheme be refused by the planning board, but councillors voted to approve it.

Planning officer Matthew Smith told a meeting of Barnsley Council’s planning board today that the “reclaimed” land is now used by walkers, pony trekkers and runners.

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“The main concern as you can see from the application itself is the impact on the openness and the green belt,” Mr Smith told the meeting.

“Concerns from officers is in regards to the impact of having up to 25 motor homes on this site, it’s going to be quite a physical impact, and impact on the character and openness of the greenbelt.

“There’s also activity associated with that, obviously, people coming and going people sitting out, putting chairs out….and lights on within the actual motor homes themselves…various activity which all adds up to the impact on the character and openness of the green belt.

“The applicant has put forward very special circumstances based on the impact of tourism, employment, the impact on wildlife.

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“We don’t feel those amount to very special circumstances, to outlay harm to the character and openness of the green belt. As such, the application is recommended for refusal.”

Paul Marsh, owner of the site, told the meeting that he believed motor homes and caravans would be an appropriate use of the land.

Mr Marsh added that the scheme could potentially create up to four jobs, as well as providing an economic boost to local pubs, restaurants, takeaways, shops and supermarkets.

“This site will give opportunities to experience the great attractions Barnsley and surrounding places offer.

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“We’ve had no objections that I’m aware of – in fact, quite the opposite from local residents and businesses, they’ve welcomed this idea.

“We want to offer a site, that people can come to Barnsley, and see Barnsley for what it really is.

“We need to put it on the map for tourism.”

Councillors voted to approve the scheme.