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Travellers pitch approved on High Dike near Grantham after appeal

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Plans for a controversial travellers site near the A52 have been approved following an appeal.

Permission was granted earlier this month to use land between the High Dike and B6403, in Cold Harbour, Grantham, for the stationing of caravans for residential purposes.

The site, which is almost one hectare in size, will incorporate six traveller pitches, which each include space for a mobile home, a touring caravan and the construction of a small day room.

A satellite image shows the triangular-shaped site, to the north of Cold Harbour. Image via Google Maps (53296326)
A satellite image shows the triangular-shaped site, to the north of Cold Harbour. Image via Google Maps (53296326)

A toilet block will also be built on site, as well as a transit area for six touring caravans. The site will have three metre high acoustic fencing on the northern and south eastern side, as well as the western side.

Originally submitted in May 2018, the plans were refused by South Kesteven District Council’s planning committee in May 2019, with concerns raised over whether the appeal site is a suitable location for the development and the effect of the proposed development on the character and appearance of the area.

This decision was appealed and, following a site visit in November, the planning inspectorate has now approved the development.

A site plan via SKDC (53296323)
A site plan via SKDC (53296323)

The document outlining the appeal decision said: “Despite the likelihood of a high degree of reliance on private vehicles, the length and duration of journeys necessary to access essential services and facilities would not be excessive in the context of the site’s size and location.”

The document addressed concerns over how the fencing would impact the appearance of the site.

It said: “The hedging would take a while to mature, meaning that there would be a period of time where the fencing would appear rather stark. Once some maturity is achieved, however, the fencing would be largely obscured and the site would sit reasonably comfortably in the wider landscape.

“I conclude, therefore, that, with the landscaping scheme as detailed, the proposed development would not have an adverse impact on the character and appearance of the area.”

A view of the site via Google Streetview. (53296330)
A view of the site via Google Streetview. (53296330)

A resident of Cold Harbour, who wished to remain anonymous, raised concerns about the approval of the development.

They said: “Cold Harbour on a patch of land surrounded by major roads on all three sides carrying 14,000 vehicles a day.

“The local residents (14 adults) feel betrayed that the council and the Secretary of State for Housing and Communities can condone at development of 50 to 100 travellers on a location that is surrounded on all sides by major roads with no local sustainable amenities for such a large community.

“We don’t even have a lamp-post or bus stop and a development at Harrowby Hall was rejected by an inspector for exactly those reasons.”

The resident also raised concerns about children being brought up “behind a 10 foot compound wall to suppress the noise, air pollution and protect them from traffic at a notorious accident blackspot.”

The resident added: “National guidelines suggest that such sites for travellers should not be screened away so as to allow integration with the local community.

“We feel no one is prepared to stand up for us or those poor children being raised in a compound with no views or facilities to support their education, health and wellbeing by being trapped by the A52 and the High Dike.”

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