FAMILIES living on an illegal traveller encampment are set to be moved off after planning permission for the site has now been refused.
Up to 13 caravans were stationed at the plot off the A4104 in Baughton, Earls Croome, earlier this month and the children living there, some with special needs, have been attending Defford-cum-Besford First School.
But on Wednesday, December 17, Malvern Hills district councillors on the Southern Area Development Management Committee refused planning permission for 12 pitches at the site which could have accommodated twice the amount of caravans.
Council officers argued that noise levels would be similar to a factory at the eastern side of the plot which borders the M5 motorway and pointed out that certain areas were in high risk floodzones.
They also branded the location as unsustainable because of its distance from local services and argued Malvern actually had three pitches more than needed in the district.
Villagers also opposed the application for planning permission.
Dorothy Wiggins of Earls Croome, said there was widespread objection to the proposal describing it ‘entirely out of keeping’ with Baughton.
While Croome parish councillor John McBride claimed the size of the development was ‘enormous’ and had already devalued house prices in the area.
In response to the concerns a spokesman on behalf of the applicant argued that the Environment Agency, Worcestershire Regulatory Services and Worcestershire Highways had not objected to the proposals and said there was ‘no good reason’ to refuse planning permission.
He also questioned the findings of the council’s Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment and claimed there would be a need for more pitches in Malvern in the future.
In September Malvern Hills District Council issued an enforcement notice for the occupiers to move which was appealed. A public inquiry will take place in May.