A site visit will take place to gauge noise levels at a proposed new travellers’ camp akin to the site on Haldon Forest.

Teignbridge councillors were recommended to approve Teign Housing’s plan for 15 permanent pitches, welfare buildings, a community meeting room and an amenity/play space to be built at the Horsemills Field site in Kingsteignton.

Each pitch would feature its own garden and ‘welfare block’ including toilets and a bathroom, and would be approximately 20m x 20m in size, with a permanent amenity block building that would comprise of a toilet, washroom, bathroom facilities and a bin store to the rear.

But concerns at Tuesday morning’s planning committee meeting were raised about the suitability of the site as it would be right next to Gilpin’s waste management facility and a skip hire company, businesses whose operations involve heavy machinery, noise and dust.

In red, the proposed location for the new travellers' camp at the Horsemills Field site in Kingsteignton

In red, the proposed location for the new travellers’ camp at the Horsemills Field site in Kingsteignton

Councillors agreed to go on a site visit during working hours so they can listen for themselves as to what the noise levels would be, although the meeting heard that the Council’s Environmental Control Team did not object to the plans.

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Proposing the plans be approved, planning officer Helen Addison said that Teign Housing already operate the Haldon Forest site so there is confidence the site will be well managed, the Gypsy and Traveller Forum prefer pitches to be away from residential accommodation, and that it was a sustainable site.

But Dan Yates, speaking on behalf of Gilpin, said the proposed pitches were ‘entirely incompatible with the existing operations in the area’.

 

He added: “It will be inevitable there will be impacts on future residents and existing operators should not be impacted by the inevitable complaints of noise from the future residents. This is incompatible with existing development and should be refused so the future of existing businesses are protected.”

Travellers

He added that the application did not accord with the Local Plan as the council can demonstrate a five year supply of pitches and as the nearest bus stop is 1.5km away, the primary school is 3km and shops are 4km away, the site is unsustainable as it will require private transport to be used.

Cllr Beryl Austen added: “There is a stone crushing machine adjacent to the site and there is no doubt at all people on the site will be affected by it. This is not sustainable. It is isolated in residential terms and private transport use is essential for any facilities. This is unsuitable for gypsy and travellers because of its location and the operation of commercial facilities adjacent to it.

 

“As soon as people are living there, we will find there are continued complaints from them about the noise, and already there is animosity from the businesses there who don’t want it at any price.”

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Cllr Phil Bullivant added: “These are businesses who by their nature generate a lot of dust and noise and are not good neighbours. If we put 15 families in the area, it is a great mistake as we will be creating problems for the businesses who have nowhere else to go.”

He proposed that a site visit should take place so councillors can find out and listen for themselves as to how noisy the nearby operations would be.

New Haldon travellers site

New Haldon travellers site

But Cllr Andrew McGregor said that he was in favour of the application and that the noise of the crushing machine would be no louder than that of being in a moving car.

He added: “Is this a suitable site? It would appear to be. There are some issues but they can be resolved. We need the site and definitely need to provide more provision.”

 

Cllr Adrian Patch had asked for the application to be deferred to allow consideration to be given to making the site a transit site rather than a permanent site, but his proposal was defeated by 13 votes to four.

Councillors voted by 11 votes to seven, with one abstention, to defer the application for a site visit to take place.

The land on which the site will be built was used as a construction compound while the new Clay Pitts Way road that links Chudleigh and Kingsteignton was being built and has remained unoccupied since.

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