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Planning application for Cufaude Lane
A MAJOR traveller camp could be set up around Bramley, the parish council fears.
The comments were prompted by a part-retrospective application to change a plot of land near Cufaude Lane in to a residential gypsy site for one family with two caravans.
The James family is applying to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, but has already moved on to the site, fenced it off and laid gravel. It is one of more than 40 neighbouring plots that are believed to have been sold without planning permission.
In their response to the application, parish councillors say they are worried the entire site could become another “Dale Farm” – the sprawling Essex traveller site that was the focus of multi-million-pound legal action and dramatic eviction in 2011.
It is understood the James’ plot is one of 48 offered for sale through a third party.
The same family unsuccessfully applied for planning permission for the site in 2009. That application was rejected, due partly to environmental factors including flooding and access.
Bramley Parish Council said in their response to the latest application: “The application is somewhat disingenuous, being a likely ‘test-case’ for the whole site, which has been sold by an online agent as 48 similar-sized plots without planning permission.
“It is believed that, should planning for the change of use for this plot be granted, a clear precedent will be set for the remaining 47 plots.
“This would in time lead to a significant development of gypsy caravans akin to the ‘Dale Farm’ site where there were fewer than 48 approved plots over a site which grew beyond all reasonable management.”
A Bramley resident, who lives nearby but did not want to be named, said: “It’s very worrying. If one family gets planning permission then that could mean the floodgates opening.”
Cllr Ranil Jayawardena, ward councillor for Bramley and Sherfield at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, said: “The same rules should apply to everyone. This is an illegal encampament and people are absolutely outraged about it.”
The James family were unavailable for comment.
More than 150 public comments have been made to the borough about the planning application. A decision will be made on August 23.
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