TRAVELLING showpeople have been granted permission to build permanent plots on green belt land in South Elmsall.
Wakefield Council’s Planning and Highways Committee approved the decision on Friday to allow a new access road, perimeter fencing, landscaping for eight plots to accommodate caravans or trailers and a concrete area for storing vehicles and equipment at the site.
The showpeople own the land, off Field Lane, but needed permission from the council to build on it.
Rennie Mulhearn attended the meeting and will live on the site.
He said: “I am absolutely elated. It’s great now we have somewhere permanent to live. We will be there for forever and a day.”
The applicant, George Tucker, also attended and afterwards said: “I am very excited that permission has been passed. I am happy with the way the council has been on our behalf and delighted with the outcome.”
The application received 64 objections, mainly due to the site being green belt, and South Elmsall Town Council also opposed the plans, suggesting another site in Hemsworth.
Mayor of South Elmsall Town Council, Coun Peter Jordan, said: “I am very disappointed because I thought the council might have put it on hold while they looked at the alternative site. It is an encroachment on green belt land which is something that has been resisted in the past.”
Mr Mulhearn said he and other members of the showmen’s guild had spent the last six years to find an appropriate site.
He said: “The council felt that this was the better option. I am never surprised by the objections to a showmen’s application, it is the same script all over the country. Maybe it is the fear of the unknown.”
He said showmen had been in the area for the past 15 years at Gwent View, Upton, and caused no problems, and also lived for 40 years opposite the Little ‘Un pub in South Elmsall. Work will start on the site later this year.