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Traveller family set to appeal on flood-risk refusal
8:42am Saturday 12th January 2013 in News
A FAMILY has said it may appeal against a council decision which claims its home is at severe danger of flooding.
Selby District Council’s planning committee this week refused permission for the traveller family’s three-caravan site to remain in place near New Road, Drax, despite officers agreeing it was acceptable in terms of safety and its appearance.
A report called the site “a highly vulnerable development” because it was located on a flood zone and faced “an unacceptable risk of flooding”, and committee members decided turned down the retrospective planning application.
But Philip Brown, agent for the applicant, said he disagreed with that decision and it was likely his client would appeal.
He said: “We had a flood-risk assessment carried out which demonstrated that the site is not subject to extreme flood risk.
“The Environment Agency has ignored that and chosen to rely on something else. It’s a district-wide assessment, which takes into account previous records of flooding, but what it can’t do is take into account local variations at ground level, which is the reason why you’re meant to have site-specific flood assessments carried out.”
Coun John Cattanach, a member of the planning committee, said: “Two councillors queried the matter and said if it was not in that particular flood zone, would we be approving it in principle, and we said yes.”
Nigel Adams, MP for Selby and Ainsty, met residents last month to discuss the site, which was created without planning permission and is occupied by one family.
Six residents also filed objections to the site, which consists of three caravans and has been in the area for more than 18 months. The local parish council also objected to the site, calling it “a blatant attempt to get round or ignore planning regulations and local opinion”, and “the thin end of the wedge, encouraging others to flout the regulations”.
Mr Brown said: “After all the recent rain, my client’s site has been dry and it is not that surprising that the area is not at extreme risk of flooding, because of course it’s right next to a major power station. They’re hardly likely to have built a power station in an area which is a flood risk.”