December 9 2013 Latest news:
Story by: JOHN ELWORTHY
Friday, October 4, 2013
A town planner who specialises in applications for travellers’ sites says his bid to secure eight caravans on a site near March still leaves the district under provided.
Philip Brown of Rugby has submitted outline plans – including this sketch of the proposed elevations- to Fenland District Council.
Mr Brown says permission exists already for a mobile home and tourer on the site at Cedar Cottage, Hook Road, Wimblington. He wants this to be extended to allow four pitches for gypsy families, each with a mobile home and a single caravan.
He claims Fenland Council’s latest assessments from 2011 “suffer the obvious flaw of applying an annual turnover rate to produce a supply of pitches, which coincidentally, matches the assessed need.
“This calculation is dependent on a number of assumptions.”
Mr Browns says the first is that site owners will allow anyone to have a pitch whereas “they are most discerning and only allow travellers on to their sites if they are from families related to, or friendly with, the owner.
He said it was also wrong to assume that people moved simply within Fenland, making no allowances for people moving away or dying.
“The study in 2011 made no allowance for in migration and no allowance has been made for travellers moving out of houses onto sites,” he said.
Mr Brown said in South Cambridgeshire a number of appeals had challenged existing provision for not providing “a robust assessment of need.” In Fenland he believes an extra 39 pitches are needed in Fenland and his application would “contribute to meeting that need.”
The proposed site is a mile from the village, is easily accessible to services, and the site would be screened by hedgerows and buildings from Hook Road.
Mr Brown reveals in his application that he is acting for a gypsy family from Brackley, Berks, who own the land.