Cannock Chase grazing site plans spark concerns
Land previously plagued by fly tippers is set to be used as a grazing and stabling site for horses – but concerns have been raised it could be targeted by other visitors
Cannock Chase Council’s planning committee gave the green light for the change of use of the land off Stokes Lane, Norton Canes, for keeping horses on Wednesday.
The application had been considered at a previous planning committee meeting but members questioned the type of fencing that had been installed at the site, which is in the Green Belt, and deferred their decision so that improvements could be discussed.
Member Councillor Zaphne Stretton also raised concerns about the security of horses on the site at Wednesday’s meeting, following a visit to the site by the committee.
She said: “When we were on the site some tinkers or gypsies came down Stokes Lane. Are you not going to be concerned they are going to be there on their own? I would be concerned to leave my horses – the gypsies or tinkers will probably run off with them.”
But Philip Brown, who spoke in support of the application at Wednesday’s meeting, said: “There is a traveller site at the end of Stokes Lane. The presence of gypsies or travellers doesn’t mean there will be a problem. They traditionally keep horses.
“For the most part the horses will be out in the field grazing. They will be coming into this area for exercise and if they are being treated by a vet – they are not going to be there all the time.
“The proposal is for a small stable and grazing area. The vast majority of the ground will be relatively open and undeveloped.
“It has been a hotspot for fly tipping and the land has been fenced off to prevent fly tipping. The development of a stable and small-scale facilities for keeping horses is appropriate development on the Green Belt.”
There were no objections raised to the application by Norton Canes or Heath Hayes and Wimblebury Parish Councils.
But one commenter who contacted the district council said: “I have no objection to the planning request for stables on the land but I would ask you to stipulate that no caravans, tents or living accommodation, however temporary, are allowed on the land.
“The reason I ask is that there is already a travellers’ camp on Stokes Lane and I am gravely concerned that these stables will soon be joined by a caravan, then another, and over time we will end up with an unofficial travellers’ camp on the site.”