Relief as gypsy camp plans withdrawn

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CONTROVERSIAL plans for a South Yorkshire gypsy camp and community centre have been shelved days before the scheme was due to be considered for approval by councillors - after more than 300 objections were received.

Applicant Dennis Lycett withdrew the application but he is still set to put forward alternative mixed housing and industrial proposals for the site, which is in Pogmoor, between West Road and the Barnsley to Huddersfield railway line.

Objectors complained the gypsy camp proposals could have had a significant impact on house prices, worsen traffic problems and create overcrowding in schools.

They also said there is an existing travellers’ site nearby at Smithies and that insufficient public consultation has taken place.

Barnsley Council’s planning department recommended the scheme should be refused permission when it was due to be considered by the authority’s planning board on Tuesday.

Officials said the site, formerly industrial land which has been derelict for the last eight years, was unsuitable for use as a gypsy camp because it could restrict the activities of surrounding businesses and “lose the employment potential of the land”.

Joe Jenkinson, group leader in Barnsley Council’s development management department, said: “The planning application for the gypsy and traveller site has been withdrawn by the applicant, as such it will not be considered at Planning Board on Tuesday.

“The applicant would therefore need to submit a brand new application if he wishes to pursue the proposal further.”

Barry Lowe, one of the Pogmoor residents who had decided to form an action group to protest over the plans, said he was relieved by the announcement Mr Lycett’s application had been withdrawn.

Mr Lowe, a member of the acting committee formed to run the group, said residents had established a fund to help their campaign. Some £25 has been spent hiring a room for a meeting. A sum of £301.59 remains, which will be donated to the Barnsley Hospice, he added.