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Council objects to ‘dangerous’ location of travellers’ site

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A RETROSPECTIVE planning application to create a travellers’ site on land adjacent to the A350, has been objected to by the town council because of concerns about its “dangerous” location.

The site, which is already in use, is located off the A350 (Western Way), on land between the Melksham Substation and the River Avon – access to the site is via the A350, in close proximity to where the road meets the Farmers roundabout.

At a meeting last week of the town council’s economic development and planning committee, mayor cllr Jon Hubbard said that he was “nervous” about the site’s location from a “highways perspective”, explaining that he felt the site was in the “wrong place”.

There was also concern raised by councillors about the site’s location on a flood plain – a concern echoed by the Environment Agency, who has also objected to the application. However, in the applicant’s planning application it is acknowledged that the site is on a flood plain.

“The caravans will be mobile touring caravans which can be moved at short notice,” explains the applicant.

At the town council meeting, councillors unanimously agreed to object to the application, stressing that they are not objecting to having a travellers’ site in the town, but are objecting on safety grounds.

Consultation on the planning application for a retrospective change of use of open countryside to a traveller site – for up to three caravans with associated on-site car parking and the proposed construction of a day room – has now closed.

A final decision will be made by Wiltshire Council.

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