Appeal launched against council's refusal of gipsy caravan site in Carpenders Park (From Watford Observer)
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Appeal launched against Three Rivers District Council's refusal of gipsy caravan site in Oxhey Lane, Carpenders Park
An appeal has been launched against Three Rivers District Council's decision to refuse a 12-caravan gipsy site in a Green Belt field in Carpenders Park.
The application to convert existing stables and build a residential caravan site for six gipsy families, each with two caravans, in Green Acres, was thrown out by district councillors at a planning meeting earlier this year.
An appeal has been submitted to the Secretary of State for Environment by Peter Daley to override the council’s decision not to allow the Oxhey Lane development.
The proposals were rejected by politicians in April on the grounds that: "The change of use of the land to create six gipsy pitches constitutes inappropriate development in the Metropolitan Green Belt, which by definition is harmful.
"The harm to the Metropolitan Green Belt is exacerbated by reason of the encroachment into the surrounding fields for the siting of caravans, with associated urbanising development which fails to preserve the openness and rural character of the Metropolitan Green Belt.
"The council accepts that there is a significant unmet need and it cannot demonstrate a five year supply of deliverable gipsy and traveller sites but considers that this need does not outweigh the harm to the Metropolitan Green Belt.
"Therefore, no very special circumstances exist to justify the grant of planning permission."
A total of 1,195 people signed a petition opposing the application before it was heard at the council's planning committee.
In a letter put forward by Georgina Ford, the secretary of Carpenders Park Residents Association, she explained that: "The site is the last bit of Green Belt land separating Carpenders Park from Hatch End and therefore is of great importance to the residents marking the boundary between Hertfordshire and London.
"The residents would be opposed to any application to build or construct residential accommodation on this site regardless of the applicant."
Representations were also made by Watford Rural Parish Council who, in a letter submitted to the planning committee, explained that: "With six families on the site there will at the very minimum be 12 cars leaving and entering the site everyday, several times a day, this does not include the lorries and vans that will be used for work, thus creating a lot more traffic on this stretch of busy of road."
The appeal will be decided by an informal hearing, the date of which is yet to be determined.
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