Grant bid to fight illegal car parks
PUBLISHED: 08:00 23 March 2015
COUNCILLORS in Backwell are stepping up their fight against unauthorised airport car parks which are ruining greenbelt land.
Backwell Parish Council agreed to apply to the Bristol Airport Community Fund for £20,000 which would be used to target offenders and find a long-term solution to the problem.
There are currently 30 illegal sites across North Somerset, with the majority in fields around Backwell, Winford, Wrington and Felton.
A provision within planning regulations allows for the temporary use of land for 28 days without planning permission, which means the businesses can just move onto another field after this time.
Councillors claim the car parks leave the land in a terrible mess and are desperate to stop this happening.
Speaking at Backwell Parish Council’s meeting on March 5, chairman Bob Taylor said: “The idea of assisting North Somerset in tackling these illegal car parks would be a benefit to all of us.
“We’ve been saying for a long time we need to do something for people in Downside and I think this is what we should be doing.”
North Somerset councillor Karen Barclay said: “If the funds were made available it could pay for an officer to support North Somerset’s activities in monitoring sites, evidence collection, legal advice and serving notices and court papers.
“It could also be used to help fund a long-term solution. The council is looking to remove the 28-day permitted development rights. This would mean implementing an Article Four direction which would enable the local planning authority to withdraw permitted development rights across a defined area.
“The process is very involved and time-consuming to put in place, but if the council had more funds it could focus resources into this area, which could lead to a long-term solution.
“If the grant is successful the council would decide how to use the funds to tackle the problem.”
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