Plans for travelling showpeople’s homes in Aldingbourne delayed

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Travelling showpeople will have to wait before they can move into Aldingbourne.

Their plans to change farm and into three permanent plots with nine mobile homes on each has been deferred by councillors. Each home would also have a trailer.

The members of Arun District Council’s development control committee agreed to see the proposed site – at Nyton Stables on Nyton Lane – before they decided the planning application by James Cole.

Committee vice-chairman Jean Goad said the visit would enable councillors to compare the proposed location of 2.2 hectares with one the same family had run well in a secluded location in Eastergate for many years.

“It is a very important decision we have to make,” she said. “We need to see what the impact of this plan is on the rest of Aldingbourne. The site in Aldingbourne is in a very rural area and that particular part of Aldingbourne is more rural than most.”

“There is very little in the way of housing but several houses along Church Road are very close to the site.

“There will be three mobile homes each site, plus three trailers, to make a total of 18 structures. Some of the residential ones will be quite large. That will be intrusive in a very open site.”

Cllr Jaqueline Maconachie said: “I have fears because this is a very open landscape which will have large vehicles on it.

“When they are out travelling, I don’t see any problem, but when they are not travelling is the winter and that’s when the foliage is at its thinnest and there could well be more impact.”

But Cllr Elaine Stainton said: “The Coles family have been here for generations and there have never been any problems with them.”

The committee’s decision, which is likely to lead to a fresh debate next month, came after council planning officer Juan Baeza recommended approving Mr Cole’s plans for a trial period of two years.

He said the period would enable the council to finalise its policy to provide sites for travelling showpeople in response to a study which showed the need for three plots.

“Those 24 months would allow the council at that stage to assess the situation and make assessment as to whether other sites are available which are more suitable.

“If that is the case, the situation will have to be revisited.”

The intended use was against the council’s land use policies but the need to provide sites for showpeople over-rode them.

Joe Cunnane, the planning agent for Mr Cole, said it was difficult to find locations for travelling show families to stay even though they wanted to move from their present overcrowded location.