Oct 10 2012 By Jenny Gray
AN application for a permanent family traveller site in Harefield was thrown out by councillors, despite the fact that no alternative location has been found.
North Planning Committee agreed with officers’ recommendations that the proposal for two mobile homes and a touring caravan at Willow Farm, Jackets Lane, be rejected because it would be detrimental to the character of the green belt.
The Connors family have been living on the site since 2003, and have been granted a series of temporary permissions by the planning inspectorate, due to the educational needs of the children, the health of Michael Connors Snr and the fact that the council’s planning policy did not include a suitable location for a travellers site.
The meeting last night (Tuesday) heard that, while the children had now completed their schooling, the other circumstances remained the same as they were in 2007, when the last temporary approval was given.
A last minute petition and request to speak from the family was refused by vice chairman councillor Allan Kauffman (Con, South Ruislip) because the applicant did not give enough notice and had spoken to the committee on the issue before.
The decision on the application was deferred from January this year because of an error in the submitted plans.
The family could still apply for another temporary permit to remain on the site, the meeting heard.
Councillor David Allam (Lab, Yeading) asked officers if permanent permission could be granted on condition that only Michael Connors Snr and his family live there and must remove all equipment and buildings from the site when they leave.
But fellow councillors dismissed this suggestion, saying it was too complicated and would still have an adverse effect the green belt.
Councillor Carol Melvin (Con, Northwood), said: “If we give permanent permission we won’t be able to restrict harm. I think its gone on long enough, this is green belt land and shouldn’t be used for the purpose it’s being used for.”
The committee voted six to one in favour of refusal.