An application to extend a gypsy traveller site next to a south Pembrokeshire residential complex was refused by just one casting vote.
The application, recommended for refusal by Pembrokeshire County Council planners at their October 3 meeting, had previously been recommended for refusal in September; members then instead agreeing to a site visit.
Nelson Jones and Sylvie Jones had applied for two additional gypsy traveller pitches, a shared day room, a new hay shed/store and an update of a previously- approved layout on land adjacent to Pincheston Farm residential complex, Sageston.
The proposed two pitches would be sited along the eastern boundary of the application site and opposite the existing pitches at the site.
Reasons for refusal included visual intrusion when viewed from the nearby A477 trunk road, a harmful effect on the character and appearance of the countryside, and the proposed development would lead to an increased use of the single lane access track resulting in inconvenience to users from being unable to pass.
“The subsequent adverse impact on residential amenity would hinder the peaceful and integrated co-existence between the site and the local community,” a report for members said.
Local community council Carew had objected to the application for similar issues.
At the September meeting, agent Andrew Vaughan-Harries expressed his disappointment at the recommendation for refusal, adding: “The family has grown, currently they live in Castle Quarry [Pembroke] and have two pitches for five adults and two children; Castle Quarry has issues, a lot of investment is needed there.”
He said the applicants had owned the site for 18 years, and that a concern about potential hostility “really isn’t there”.
At the October meeting he debated the visual intrusion experienced from the A477, saying: “That’s a 60mph road, I can’t see when you’re driving to Tenby how you will see it, you would almost have to get on the hedge to see this.”
Local member Cllr Vanessa Thomas, who had also spoken at the September meeting, said neighbouring residents had been subjected to a long history of planning applications on the site going back to 2008.
She said, despite what Mr Vaughan-Harries said, the neighbouring residents had concerns of ‘hostility,’ arising from fears of legal challenges over land and access.
A proposal for the application to be refused as recommended was made by Councillor Jamie Adams, with a counter-proposal to be ‘minded to approve’ made by Jordan Ryan, a vote on the latter taking place in the event Cllr Adams’ proposal failed.
The votes were tied with six in support and six against; a casting second vote going to committee chairman Cllr Jacob Williams.
“The votes having been tied it is to me to exercise the casting vote; I vote again for the motion [to refuse], the motion is approved.”