Are villagers’ fears that Tilsworth travellers’ site will turn into another Dale Farm unjustified?

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News

Villagers in LBO land were left reeling after a partially retrospective planning application was submitted “with all the hallmarks of Dale Farm”.

A total of 76 objections have been received from members of the public to the proposed expansion of Kingswood Nursery site on Dunstable Road, Tilsworth.

The application to increase the number of caravans from the two previously approved to a total of four static and four touring caravans is due to be determined before July 26.

One angry resident said: “Behind the site applied for is a much larger area where work has commenced in preparation for even more encampments.

“If allowed, this will be on a par with the site at Dale Farm in Essex. This would, of course, have a direct impact on Leighton and the surrounding areas.”

CBC stated it has found no signs of any additional works at the site. The Environment Agency has recommended approval subject to a condition that a sewage scheme be presented and approved by CBC “before occupation”.

A previous application had been made for five static and five touring caravans on the site, however it was withdrawn following comments from CBC planning officers, with a revised application submitted in April for four static and four moving caravans.

Agent for the application, Joseph Jones, told the LBO previously that the land was already an established traveller site and added it would have a limited impact on Tilsworth, being situated towards the edge of the village.

A CBC spokesman said: “A decision on the planning application is due to be issued imminently.

“This decision will be made following the assessment of all relevant planning considerations, including representations received from residents.

“Colleagues visited the site on Friday, July 6, and observed four static caravans and two touring caravans on the application site.

“We are not aware of any plans to extend this site further than the current planning application.”