Application to extend ‘gypsy’ site sparks concerns from residents

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More than 60 objections have so far been raised over a planning application to extend stables on a private gypsy site close to Normanton.

With the work already started, the retrospective application has left residents angry who say the site is green belt land and should be protected.

Built close to the entrance to Welbeck Landfill Site, and next to the A655, the private site has a residential compound with five caravans occupied by the same family.

The applicant, Ophey Smith, has applied to make a 5.7m x 5.7m stables extension so he can keep the gypsy horses, which he breeds, indoors during the winter months.

Submitted in December of last year, a decision is yet to be made on the application by Wakefield Council’s planning committee.

But the move has not been welcomed by many, including Antony Piper, who said: “This started off as a stables and paddock and is now a gypsy site.

“It’s time that this was stopped and the work done be taken down.

“We already have more gypsy sites in our area than anywhere else in Wakefield district. This piece of land is now an eyesore and affecting the value of the houses around it.”

Tom Smith added: “It’s been an eyesore and blot on that landscape since it was first developed and bearing in mind it’s green-belt land, should not have been developed in the first place.”

The application has even caught the attention of Normanton ward councillor David Dagger, who has also added his own objections.

He said: “The proposal would be contrary to green-belt policy and no compelling case has been made to justify the setting aside of this policy.”