Controversial plans to change the use of an area of land to a residential caravan site have been recommended for approval.

The planning application for land currently occupied by a garage and workshop behind homes in Toms Lane, Kings Langley, will be considered by the Three Rivers District Council planning committee on May 23.

A document added to the planning portal today said: “The officer’s recommendation is that the application is approved.

“At the meeting, members of the committee will discuss and debate the application and its recommendation, and determine whether they agree with the recommendation, or come to an alternative view.”

It would see five pitches, each able to accommodate two caravans, and an amenity building added as well as the laying of hardstanding.

The land is adjacent to an existing lawful gypsy site, which it would be accessed through, and is within the green belt.

The application's supporting documents state the pitches are intended for use by the applicant’s extended family who are currently living on the adjacent site.

It also claimed that there is a need for more permanent pitches for gypsies and travellers generally in the area.

The pitches are apparently proposed due to the applicant’s personal circumstances, need for accommodation, unavailability of alternative sites, and to meet the needs of children.

It is suggested that the ‘very special circumstances’ needed to justify inappropriate development in the green belt could potentially be demonstrated on that basis.

An objection has been lodged by Toms Lane Action Group, which says it is formed of around 60 residents “who are strongly opposed” to the plan.

Watford Observer: The application site, in Toms Lane.The application site, in Toms Lane. (Image: Google Maps/Canva)

Reasons included the impact on the green belt, highway accessibility, impact on ecology and biodiversity, impact on residential amenity, fire safety and flood risk.

It also challenged the case for the existence of ‘very special circumstances’.

A separate Toms Lane resident also submitted an objection, due to the site access being up a narrow lane with poor sight lines. They said that more traffic would “only add to the existing problems”.

Hertfordshire Highways did not object to the proposal.