Plans to create a new site for gypsies and travellers on a green belt field in a Barnsley village have been rejected by planners following more than 100 objections from people living in the area.
Barnsley Council had been asked to grant consent for the development in a field at Little Houghton, which is accessed via a track currently used to get to a Yorkshire Water pumping station off Rotherham Road.
It was argued that the site, with pitches for both static and travelling caravans, could be justified on a green belt site because it was needed to accommodate residents from a site a short distance away at Low Valley, Darfield, which had previously been affected by flooding.
But councillors on the planning board rejected the application after being told the development would be in conflict with Government policies, which forbid the use of green belt land for such developments in anything other than very special circumstances.
Kevin Osbourne spoke at the meeting on behalf of objectors and said: “I have sympathy with those who feel so at risk of flooding in Low Valley they have to move home, but this site is in the wrong place.”
The meeting was told council officials who studied the application had come to the conclusion evidence to demonstrate ‘very special circumstances’ had not been shown and there were also concerns about road safety for both vehicles and pedestrians.
Head of Planning, Joe Jenkinson, also told the meeting a flood alleviation plan had been agreed for the Low Valley site, which would protect the area when it was finished.
That meant the council would be including the pitches on that site in its future calculations.
That undermined any arguments that the new site was needed to replace the Low Valley accommodation.
Coun Pauline Markham told the meeting the proposed site was “not fit for purpose and is in the green belt.”