A planning application has been submitted to North Warwickshire Borough Council for a gypsy site off the A51 in Kingsbury. Labour Candidates for Kingsbury, Alex Phillips and Simon O’Keefe have objected to the site on the grounds of development within the green belt. Their response is copied below to try and help others with their objections.
To whom it may concern,
We wish to object to application PAP/2018/0435 for a gypsy site and equestrian facilities off the A51 in Kingsbury.
The site is located within the green belt and therefore the application has to meet exceptional circumstances for permission to be granted. We do not believe that exceptional circumstances have been proven in the application.
The site is outside of the development boundary of Kingsbury and is therefore part of the open countryside around a settlement and performs strongly in terms of greenbelt principles to protect urban sprawl and rural countryside.
In particular we believe that this site performs strongly against four of the five green belt principles outlined in the National Planning Policy Framework. This is supported by the Council’s own commissioned report on Coventry and Warwickshire green belt. This site is located within Broad Area 9 of the green belt and whilst this broad area is large in terms of size and has various different roles and therefore, potential assessments, the report makes clear that it plays an important role in ensuring urban sprawl is prevented between Tamworth and Kingsbury. Allowing development on this site would create a precedent that could create considerable damage to the green belt in this area with additional development in the future.
We wish to draw the Council’s attention to R (Lee Valley Regional Park Authority) v Broxbourne Borough Council  EWHC 185 (Admin) where the judgement explained that “a shortfall in housing land supply can, as a matter of policy, be a very special circumstance, although the occasions when it is likely to suffice by itself to warrant the grant of permission for housing development in the Green Belt are expected to be few and far between.” Any lack of available sites for the gypsy and traveller community, should not, on its own, provide for a very special circumstance. The Council should therefore not consider approving the site on the basis of a lack of allocated sites in the adopted Core Strategy or Draft Local Plan.
We are also aware of the considerable local concern about the A51 and the impact any additional development on this, open stretch of the road, would have on traffic and highway safety. Although the applicant provides details of a 10 metre access from the road to the first gate on the site, the applicant fails to outline any additional safety measures on the highway that will mitigate the potential for accidents as a result of providing an additional access from the A51.
We would ask the Council to refuse this application on green belt grounds. We recognise the need for additional housing and accommodation of all types in North Warwickshire but we believe that green belt land should only be used in exceptional circumstances and in this application, those circumstances do not, in any way, meet the threshold to be considered exceptional.
Given the local concern regarding this application, we would like to request that this application be presented to the Planning Board and if you grant our request, that we be informed of public speaking opportunities on this application.
Thank you for your time and consideration of our objection.
Simon O’Keeffe and Alexandra Phillips
Labour Candidates for Kingsbury