PLANS to allow a permanent showpersons site on green belt land in South Elmsall are set to be given the go-ahead by council planning chiefs tomorrow.
A report prepared for Wakefield Council’s Planning and Highways committee recommends approving plans for a new access road, perimeter fencing and landscaping to accommodate eight plots for caravans or trailers and a concrete plot for storage of vehicles and equipment on the land off Field Lane, subject to a number of requirements.
But South Elmsall Town Council are objecting to the proposal.
Council leader Stephen Tulley said: “We have already got one site in the area that is only mile up the road at Gwent Grange, so why do we need another?
“As far as I am aware there needs to be eight sites across the district so why do we have to have two in this area? I could understand if there was no other choice but there is.
“Myself and Coun Laurie Harrison have proposed an alternative site on Rotherham Road in Hemsworth so we feel the council should look at that before they make the final decision about the site in South Elmsall.
“All I ask is that the planning department take the alterative site into consideration.”
Despite its location it has been identified in the council’s emerging Local Development Framework as an area for a ‘permanent travelling showpersons site’.
Mayor of the town council Peter Jordan said because the site is on prominent green belt land, joined to a site of special scientific interest, it should be protected from development.
The stringent requirements put on the site include letting only travelling showpeople to occupy it, sheds or buildings must not be built, or external lighting installed unless details are submitted to the local planning authority and approved.
The applicant must also conduct an archaeological survey to ensure it is not an area of historical importance.
The application was submitted to Wakefield Council by Dorset-based planning consultants Brimble, Lea and Partners on behalf of George Tucker.
Mr Tucker, a member of the Showman’s Guild for 15 years, is currently living at an over crowded site in Dewsbury, the report states.
He is fifth generation showman and considers South Elmsall to be his home.
The plans have received 32 letters of objection stating problems such as its visual impact, increase in noise, loss of wildlife, more litter, and fears that it will decrease nearby property values.
See next week’s Express for the council’s decision.