Bassetlaw travellers’ site likely to be approved despite 200 objections

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If given the go-ahead, it will have space for two static caravans and two touring caravans on land near Beckingham village.

The former strawberry farm is directly off the A631 dual carriageway, which has prompted traffic safety concerns from some residents.

The application has been submitted by Mark Simmonds Planning Consultants, on behalf of Barry Rodgers.

A proposed travellers' site off the A631, Beckingham Credit: Mark Simmonds Planning ConsultantsA proposed travellers' site off the A631, Beckingham Credit: Mark Simmonds Planning Consultants
A proposed travellers’ site off the A631, Beckingham Credit: Mark Simmonds Planning Consultants

Bassetlaw[2] District Council officers have recommended the plans are approved at a council meeting on Wednesday (April 24).

However, Beckingham Parish Council has raised strong objections, and says “accessing this very busy road is prohibitively dangerous and is quite simply an accident waiting to happen”.

The parish council adds: “Not to mention the potential risk to human life when pedestrians are crossing the busy road without suitable pedestrian refuge areas.”

Two access points would be created on the westbound lane as part of the proposal.

Councillor Joan Sanger (Ind) said the village had already been over-developed.

“I think Beckingham has had enough [of planning applications]. This is not a suitable site for habitation, and many villagers feel the same,” she wrote.

A total of 203 local residents have also written in opposition to the scheme.

A Beckingham couple wrote: “The proposed application is no more than 100m from a roundabout, where motorists will be concentrating on changing lanes to negotiate the roundabout.

“Although we have speed cameras requiring a 50mph limit, this is often flouted with motorists going far in excess.”

There are several derelict farm buildings left on the site which were used by strawberry pickers, along with a caravan not owned by the applicants.

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Mr Simmonds said: “The applicants are a local family with family connections to the area and are in need of accommodation.

“It’s one of the most positive sites we have looked at in recent years, we feel it meets all local and national planning policy and guidance.

“We are very happy to see that the planning officer is recommending approval, and hope the planning committee will endorse their professional planning officers’ recommendation.

“We see no material or reasonable planning reasons why this would not be approved as recommended by the planners.”

One supportive comment said: “Everybody needs somewhere to live and people need to be kinder to marginalised communities. There’s a lot of discrimination towards gypsy / traveller communities. I don’t see a problem with it!”

There is a shortage of traveller pitches nationally, although Bassetlaw council says it has enough to meet the need in its own ten-year planning strategy.

Advocacy group Friends, Families & Travellers said in 2021 that nearly 1,700 traveller households were on the waiting list for pitches, with barely 100 available across the country.

Friends, Families & Travellers work to end racism and discrimination against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people and to protect the right to pursue a nomadic way of life.


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