Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett fears plans for a showmen’s site on greenbelt land in Fitzwilliam will cause traffic ‘chaos’ and have a ‘detrimental’ effect on nearby residents’ quality of life.
Mr Trickett, along with more than 150 residents, has objected to the plan for the site on Newstead Lane, which would be used for showmen’s residential caravans, storage and maintenance of vehicles and equipment.
Mr Trickett, who is asking the council to carry out a full environmental impact assessment on the proposal, said: “I have spoken to my constituents who will be affected and have received nothing but genuine concern for the local area, services and the environment.
“Whilst I am sure my constituents recognise that showpersons need a place to live, I believe that planning permission on the site will have a detrimental effect on the area.
“Firstly, I object to the application as it is for land on the green belt. Green spaces in my area remain few and far between – it will affect the quality of life of many of my constituents.
“As local people will already know, the road is narrow, it will not be suitable for large, heavy vehicles exiting or entering any entrance on Newstead Lane. This would be particularly dangerous for children in the area who play in the locality.
“There is already a 159-house development going ahead in the area and the additional pressure put on the roads by a potential showpersons’ site could lead to chaos.
“I know a number of my constituents are concerned about the development, the clear strength of local feeling and opposition to this application leads me to the conclusion that this is the wrong location for development.”
Applicant Renny Mulhearn, said a co-operative of seven or eight families wants to buy the land if planning permission is granted.
Mr Mulhearn, a planning and education representative for the Yorkshire section of the Showmen’s Guild, said plans for showmen’s sites on green belt had been approved when special circumstances were proven and said a need for sites had been identified in Wakefield district.
He said: “We won’t cause any trouble, the Showmen’s Guild regulates us and if we do cause a nuisance we are answerable to them. They can impose fines and revoke our licence which would ruin our reputable family names.
“I am disappointed at the number of objections and I would like to organise a meeting with residents to discuss our application.”
Hemsworth Town Council has organised a public meeting at Fitzwilliam Day Centre on Tuesday July 1 at 7.30pm to discuss the application.