Bid for travellers’ site is thrown out

The proposed site is next to St Nicholas' Primary School
The proposed site is next to St Nicholas' Primary School
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Proposals for a travellers site on the edge of Blackpool have been thrown out by councillors.

Brian Jenkins had applied to the council for permission to use land on School Road, Marton, for up to five caravans and two single storey buildings.

But while Blackpool Council’s planning committee acknowledged there was a need for more travellers sites in the borough, they ruled the impact on neighbouring properties would be simply too great.

They voted in favour of a recommendation to refuse the application.

Four letters of objection had been received from neighbours who were concerned about noise, the loss of the rural character of the area which is part of the Marton Moss Countryside Area, and the impact of additional traffic on the safety of pupils at the adjacent St Nicholas’ Primary School.

Following the meeting, chairman of planning Coun David Owen said: “We want to assist travellers families as far as we can but we had doubts about the size of this land and the intensive use of the site as proposed.

“However, we have explained to the applicant we are happy to talk with him about his plans and if we can reach some accommodation with him it might be possible to go some way with him.”

A report to the committee said “need, lack of alternative sites and relatively sustainable location” weighed in favour of the proposal, but there was concern about the intensity “in terms of the character and appearance of the area and in terms of the impact on the amenities” of the occupiers of neighbouring homes on School Road.

Mr Jenkins had purchased the land from his cousin to 
accommodate himself and his brother and their families, and their mother.

In a letter to the council accompanying the application, his agent Philip Brown said: “They are gypsies and travellers falling within the statutory definition, with strong family connections to Blackpool, and with a personal need for lawful accommodation in the town.”

Mr Brown added the site would be well screened from adjacent development and access would be improved “by setting the gateway further back into the site, in order to allow a car towing a caravan to turn into the site and stand clear of the highway.”