Bramley Parish Council’s response to application: 13/00998/FUL

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The parish council has submitted its response to the planning application for: Change of Use of land to use as a residential gypsy caravan site for one family with two caravans, including one static caravan/mobile home, laying of hard-standing, erection of utility building and improvement of existing access.


The Parish Council has OBJECTED on the following grounds.


Application 13/00998/FUL is somewhat disingenuous, being a likely ‘test-case’ for the whole site which has been sold by an online agent as 48 similar-sized plots without planning permission. It is believed that, should planning for the change of use for this plot be granted, a clear precedent will be set for the remaining 47 plots. This would in time lead to a significant development of gypsy caravans akin to the ‘’Dale Farm’ site where there were fewer than 48 approved plots over a site which grew beyond all reasonable management.


There is a genuine concern that the development of this site by individuals does not address infrastructure needs and does not offer the Borough an opportunity to manage the site development through planning policy. There is local experience of the failure of similar traveller site as there was an authorised site at Peak Copse to the south of Basingstoke near to the Junction 7 of the M3 motorway in 1992 which was owned and managed by Hampshire County Council. However, following a number of violent disturbances the county council decided to close it in 1996.


The Parish Council OBJECTS on the following grounds:

•    Previous planning decisions: This site was subject to a previous planning application which was rejected on environmental grounds including flooding. The applicant has stated that this problem remains and that the site does flood regularly. They have stated that they do not mind because travellers are used to packing up and moving quickly, which is not a satisfactory response since up to 48 traveller families will then disperse into the local community and set up unauthorised encampments.  

•    Noise and disturbance resulting from use. 

•    Effect on green belt and nature conservation: The local traveller policy states that inappropriate development is harmful to the Green Belt and should not be approved, except in very special circumstances. Traveller sites (temporary or permanent) in the Green Belt are inappropriate development. 

•    Layout and density of building (across the whole site of 48 plots): The total sum of the smaller plots, once developed, would create a dense living environment with insufficient mixed-use. There would be no central amenities such as play areas, open kick-about space, organised storage, or parking. 

•     Scale: The Local Traveller Policy states that local planning authorities should strictly limit new traveller site development in open countryside that is away from existing settlements or outside areas allocated in the development plan. Local planning authorities should ensure that sites in rural areas respect the scale of, and do not dominate the nearest settled community, and avoid placing an undue pressure on the local infrastructure. This site once fully occupied would further stretch resources within Bramley which are already struggling to meet local need, and with the imposition of further development through the Draft LDP Bramley will not be able to meet healthcare, schooling and other needs directly arising from the scale of this development site. 

•    Design, appearance and materials: There is likely to be a mix of design materials and layout of plots across the whole site which will lead to a disorganised ‘shanty town’ type layout with no overall infrastructure design and layout potentially leading to poor access to some plots including for emergency vehicles.

•    Local, strategic, regional and national planning policies: The Borough’s Local Plan Traveller Policy states that there is a need for up to 17 transit sites across the Borough.  It also states that there is a need for only 7 permanent plots within the Borough. This overall site comprising 48 plots in total far exceeds the evidence-based local need.

•    Highway safety: It was noted in 2009 when the previous application was rejected that the location of the access from Cufaude Lane into the site was potentially dangerous. It is clear from from assessment of the overall site plan that this problem is exasperated by the further 47 plots using the same access to the overall site. 

•    Traffic: This development will create traffic in all directions and most certainly towards Bramley centre.                                   

•    Schooling and Health Care: Bramley Primary School has recently been asked to accommodate higher numbers of intake. There are further proposed developments within the Local Plan which will stretch the school and other services beyond predicted capacity.




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