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Background

Prior to this application the Stanton Wick Old Colliery site was submitted as a private application (13/00125/FUL) in February 2013 and in April 2012 it was proposed for inclusion in the BaNES Gypsy and Traveller DPD

The background in summary of the site and the situation now.

This site has a long and varied planning history. Planning application 13/00125/FUL was withdrawn due to BaNES finally understanding the serious errors in the application form. Prior to that the site was part of the DPD consultation on Gypsy and Traveller sites by BaNES. To dispell any myths, sites were only permitted into the preferred options list if there was consent by the land owner. Previously there have been various applications for use of this land, some can be seen on the BaNES planning portal, some pre-date that system.

The current application is made by the land owner in conjunction with planning agent Ruston Planning of Bristol. Interesting to see which BaNES planner gave the pre-planning advise on the application, impartiality? Please note that although this is a resubmission taxpayers have to re-present their objection while a note of support given by Maggie Smith-Bendell BEM has been allowed to be carried over!  Ms Smith-Bendell also championed the Old Colliery and at least 1 other  private site that was part of the DPD. Ms Smith-Bendell also interestingly acted in an training capacity for BaNES at the start of the DPD process.

The latest application was resubmitted almost as soon as it was withdrawn, but yet again there were delays in it  appearing on the BaNES planning portal. 5pm on 13th June 2013 is currently the final day for comments on the application, which will then be reviewed in 7th August 2013.  The application appears on BaNES ‘special list’ however BaNES have informed us that they will not be requiring the applicant and agent to provide a public exhibition of their plans.

The site is within Stanton Drew Parish, but the eastern extremity is beside the boundary with Publow and Pensford Parish.

BANES GYPSY AND TRAVELLER DPD – Latest Info

For the latest information on this poorly managed process, that has a needs assessment based on very questionable evidence and a timetable that has now slipped dramatically behind schedule – please view the BaNES website. http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/planning-and-building-control/planning-policy/gypsies-travellers-and-travelling-showpeople-

2011/12 – BANES GYPSY AND TRAVELLER DPD – info to Sept 2012

This is still ongoing. BANES undertook a site selection survey comprising all land owned by BANES and other private land which has been put forward to BANES by the landowner.

To date BANES have produced a short list of 3 sites that they consider suitable (including the Twerton Site) and are currently looking at others

The DPD is still ongoing, the rough timeline to date….

  • Project commencement Evidence gathering and drafting of document. March 2010
  • Consultation on the Issues and Options document and Call for Sites Comments can be made on the issues that the document will address and the possible options for responding to them. Land considered suitable for allocation can also be put forward. November 2011
  • Consultation on the Options document. There was a council cabinet meeting on 9th May 2011 – A second stage of consultation to be held on preferred options arising from earlier consultation, including preferred sites. 23rd May to 18th July (extended to 20th)
  • 12th September cabinet meeting to announce the sites that would be carried forward. The Stanton Wick site was formally removed at this meeting based on an evaluation of the site against the selection criteria in Appendix 3.  *For full council resolution see below.
  • Consultation analysis and site assessment of further sites, September 2012 – March 2013
  • Consultation on Draft Plan document – This document will identify all the sites that are considered suitable for Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople use. Comments can be made on these sites.May 2013 – July 2013
  • Submission of the document to the Secretary of State. October 2013
  • Examination The document will be examined by an independent Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State. The purpose of this is to ensure it is in line with the law and sound. January 2014
  • Adoption The final version of the document will be adopted by the Council. May 2014

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Proposed Site at Stanton Wick in BaNES DPD

NOTE – The Council is not legally obliged to develop or administer Gypsy and Traveller sites, but it is within its powers to do so.

The Council has a legal duty to assess the accommodation needs of Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople either living in, or resorting to their area under Section 225 of the Housing Act (2004). The Council is also required to plan for the needs of Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople by setting pitch requirements.

 

* From the Minutes of Meeting of BaNES Cabinet, Wednesday, 12th September, 2012 6.30 pm (Item 60.)
View the full minutes for this item here.
RESOLVED (unanimously)

(1) To NOTE that a post consultation ‘stock take’ of the Gypsies and Travellers Site Allocations Plan preparation process is underway which entails:

• responding to the issues arising from the Preferred Options consultation;

• ongoing assessment of the 6 sites previously consulted on;

• assessment of new sites suggested through the Call for Sites, including a review of the existing unauthorised Gypsy and Traveller sites;

• a review of the site selection process which will be used to review existing sites and assess new sites (see draft in Appendix 3);

• review of major development sites, as part of the Core Strategy review, to assess opportunities for Gypsy and Traveller sites;

• a review of capacity outside the Green Belt, including opportunities for provision in neighbouring local authorities;

• an update to the assessment of need for pitches to establish the level of need for 5 and 10 year supply of sites in accordance with Planning for Traveller Sites; and

• ongoing engagement with neighbouring local authorities in accordance with the duty to cooperate.

(2) To NOTE the progress of the ongoing site assessment work conducted following the public consultation (see paragraphs 5.12 to 5.26); and

(3) To CONSULT on the results of the stock take referred to in (1) above before preparing a Draft Plan.

(4) To AGREE that in light of the additional evidence arising from the ongoing assessment of sites as summarised in paragraphs 5.14 to 5.26 to the report, and based on an evaluation of these sites against the selection criteria in Appendix 3, the following sites should no longer be pursued as potential sites for allocation as gypsy or traveller pitches in the site allocations Development Plan document: Site GT2: Old Colliery Buildings, Stanton Wick; Site GT4: Former Radstock Infants’ School Canteen; Site GT14: Land near Ellsbridge House, Keynsham; and

(5) To AGREE that whilst the Council is progressing the DPD in light of the absence of any authorised permanent sites within the District the Council should progress a planning application at Lower Bristol Road for gypsy and traveller pitches.

[Note: Resolution (5) above was proposed as an amendment by Councillor Simon Allen which was accepted by the proposer and seconder of the main motion].

 

Please note that because our numerous representations to Cabinet went unheard, SWAG took the decision to engauge a top class legal team prior to the June 18th Special meeting.

Our solicitor is Matthew Knight, Senior Partner at Knights Solicitors, who specialises in gypsy and traveller issues.
More details can be found at: http://www.knights-solicitors.co.uk/about-us/people-profiles/matthew-knight-%11-senior-partner/

Our barrister is Richard Harwood of 39 Essex Street Chambers.  Richard spoke very well on our behalf at the Special Council Meeting on Monday 18th June 2012 at The Guildhall Bath. More details on Richard can be found at: http://www.39essex.com/members/profile.php?id=54

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.stantonwickactiongroup.org/background/

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