Pulborough traveller site refused permanent permission

Plans to make a temporary traveller site permanent have been rejected by Horsham District Council.

Friday, 24th January 2020, 11:29 am
Layout of the traveller site in Pickhurst Lane, Pulborough,

The site, in Pickhurst Lane, Pulborough, has been used by travellers since 2007, though temporary permission for them to do so was only given in 2011.

That permission was extended on appeal to December 31 2019, to allow a child living on the site to finish his education.

Planning officers recommended the application be approved, saying the council did not have the required five-year supply of land for gypsies and travellers.

But members of the planning committee disagreed when they met on Tuesday (January 21).

There were a number of concerns about the application and Paul Clarke (Con, Pulborough, Coldwaltham & Amberley) said: “Just because a council does not have a five-year land supply does not mean we should just approve the site in order to make up the numbers.”

Mr Clarke said part of the report presented to the committee was ‘slightly misleading and incomplete’ – it only detailed the planning history from 2011, omitting the years the land was being used without permission.

The meeting heard from several residents as well as Pulborough Parish Council, who spoke about smells from unsuitable sewage disposal, abusive language, noise and stone throwing.

They also reported that black smoke had been pouring from fires ‘being used to remove plastic insulation from cables’.

The meeting was told that matter would be passed to the environmental health officer for further investigation.

Members voted against extending the temporary permission to 2022.

Instead they refused the application on the grounds that the site was in an unsustainable location and had caused ‘significant harm to the landscape character of the area’.