Traveller site would ‘damage landscape’

Travellers site at Fairfield Road, Poulton

Travellers site at Fairfield Road, Poulton

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PLANS to build a travellers’ site on the Fylde coast could have a major environmental impact, it was claimed.

A public inquiry into Wyre Council’s refusal of proposals to create a permanent site on green belt land off Lancaster Road, Preesall, today entered its third day.

The council turned down an application for retrospective planning permission for eight caravan pitches after travellers set up camp last autumn.

An enforcement notice giving travellers nine months to vacate the site was also served.

A report written by Pauline Randall and commissioned by Wyre Council said the development would cause significant harm to the landscape.

On behalf of the council Jonathan Easton said Mrs Randall’s report identified the key potential landscape effects which may arise if plans were given the go-ahead.

They included the introduction of harsh edges to settled areas, the potential for loss of landscape features and disruption to the settlement pattern.

He said: “Mrs Randall concludes the proposals fail to meet the core landscape requirements of planning policy.

“She says the development would have an adverse effect on the landscape and character of the area.”

Philip Rawle, of Green Planning Solutions agreed the site may cause visual harm in the absence of appropriate landscaping.

He said: “As I quoted in my initial report, the development makes use of an existing small elongated shaped field which borders Lancaster Road.

“The development does not affect the existing field pattern, which has clearly developed and altered over the preceding centuries.

“In relation to the impact on the appearance of the area, without additional landscaping the development would be harmful to the visual amenities of the area.

“As is included in the original application, a landscaping scheme of appropriate native species has been proposed.

“A landscaping condition should be imposed to enhance the existing hedging and to reduce views of the site from public view points.”

The inquiry, which started on Monday, is set to close tomorrow.