Anger over caravans in Tillington farm

The contentious River Farm caravans SUS-150903-162449001
The contentious River Farm caravans SUS-150903-162449001
  • Locals fear farm would become a ‘mobile home site’
  • Retrospective application being sought for 21 caravans
  • Concerns over population and traffic

FRUSTRATION is mounting over a contentious caravan site near Tillington.

Planners have applied to Chichester District Council for retrospective permission to keep the 21 caravans at River Farm, near Tillington.

The site has become low cost housing for gangs of casual labour, largely unrelated to the needs of River Farm vegetable production.

The application from David Langmead is to keep the caravans on site for the next ten years, for use by seasonal agricultural workers for 51 weeks a year.

They would be vacant, but remain on the site, over the Christmas holiday.

However, villagers have objected to the proposal, claiming the site would resemble a ‘mobile home park’.

Resident Brian Lever said: “The application is effectively for a permanent mobile home park.

The site has become low cost housing for gangs of casual labour, largely unrelated to the needs of River Farm vegetable production.

“The mobile homes and the associated rubbish that accumulates on the roadside bank are an eyesore and are detrimental to the amenity of the area.

“This affects the residents of River and a wider public seeking to enjoy the beauty of the national park.

“The original application for caravans to be parked behind the packing shed in Brookfield Lane was to be temporary and was needed to house seasonal agricultural workers employed by Langmead Farms in the vegetable fields on and around River Farm.

“A condition of the consent was that the caravans could only be occupied between March and October and they should be removed from the site in the winter.

“In 2008, the conditions were weakened to allow winter storage of unoccupied caravans on site. This consent expired in May, 2014.

“The original caravans have been replaced with larger mobile homes which have been occupied during the winter of 2014/15 in contravention of the consents.

“The movement of a population resident on the site, which could be larger than the population of River, onto the narrow Brookfield Lane and thence to the dangerous A272 junction also raises serious traffic and highway safety issues.”