DCSIMG

Travellers want full-time site home

SITE VISIT: Caravans on the field off Rosemary Lane in 2010. An application has been put into Preston Council to make this a permanent site.

SITE VISIT: Caravans on the field off Rosemary Lane in 2010. An application has been put into Preston Council to make this a permanent site.

Travellers who have settled in a Lancashire village have submitted an application to keep their site on a permanent basis.

Members of the Lee family own the caravan site off Rosemary Lane in Catforth, near Preston, and in January 2011 a planning inspector ruled they could have up to eight caravans on the site for up to three years.

Now an application has been lodged to vary a condition of the appeal decision, to allow use of the land for permanently parking caravans.

A letter from the agent, planning consultant Alison Heine, said: “There would be considerable benefits to the site occupants if consent were made permanent.

“They live on the site without mains electricity and still rely on portaloos.

“They cannot justify the cost of installing connections and non mains drainage until and unless consent is made permanent.

“Such is the desire of the traveller community to live in the traditional way of life that they will put up with limited facilities on private sites such as this rather than accept housing.”

But Julie Buttle, clerk to Woodplumpton Parish Council, said: “When the inspector considered the application last time, he found it was not an acceptable site to provide the accommodation for which the need has been identified.

She said: “The site itself, regardless of who resides there, is not suitable and not appropriate on highway grounds.”

Mrs Buttle added: “We are disappointed they have put in for a permanent application when, quite clearly, they have known for three years that it’s not sustainable.”

Mrs Heine said: “If this site is not considered suitable, it is also for the local authority to find somewhere suitable.”

A spokesman for Preston City Council said that all planning applications were considered on their merits.

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