Plans for Rainworth traveller site looks set to be rejected

Hopeful travellers' site developers, Aaron Smith (right) and son Benjamin on the plot of land off Churchfield Drive, Rainworth.
Hopeful travellers' site developers, Aaron Smith (right) and son Benjamin on the plot of land off Churchfield Drive, Rainworth.

A controversial plan to build a travellers site looks set to be rejected by councillors after the local authority received more than 3,000 objections.

The proposal, which was originally submitted to Newark & Sherwood District Council in November 2016, is for nine “gypsy pitches together with the erection of a day room”, off Churchfield Drive in Rainworth.

The plan has prompted controversy with hundreds of people joining a group against the plan, saying it is too close to an adjacent care home and concerns over wildlife on the site.

Planning officers met applicant Benjamin and Aaron Smith in January to discuss outstanding issues and he agreed further information would be provided in the form of an amended plan and amended ecology scheme.

A letter from the council’s planning department for Eleanor Overton, who is handling the application on behalf of the applicants said:“The recommendation to the Planning Committee will be for a refusal.

“In our view the additional information does not adequately address the areas that were previously identified as being of concern.

“With regard to matters of ecology there remains uncertainty and objections remain from Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. “

There were also concerns that the appearance of the site.

The letter said: “The pitches would be elevated and would appear visually awkward compared to their surroundings.”

However, Aaron Smith, a Romany developer working to build said if his application is rejected he will appeal the decision.

He told your Chad: “It’s not the end, we will be appealing. We thought it might happen so we are prepared. The council have dragged this out, and I don’t know why because they do need more traveller pitches.

“I think they do want to say yes to it, but won’t do because of the objections.

“I know traveller sites are controversial but all we want to do is to stop the site being a dumping ground and make it better.

“It will be a site for static caravans for elderly people not caravans with horses.”

A final decision will be made by councillors on January 9.