PLANS to use green belt as a traveller site have been thrown out by Barnsley Council - despite the land in question already being occupied.

The site, adjacent to Worsbrough Road on the outskirts of Worsbrough Village, was subject to a ‘part retrospective’ application, with documents stating it has been occupied for almost a year.

The application, received in March, was made to formally approve the land’s use as a site for two caravans and a utility building.

A statement included with the application argued there is ‘a shortfall in provision’ for traveller families in the area, and the site was suitable to meet demand not catered for by the council’s local plan - which has already seen green belt land used for traveller sites.

It was also argued that this outweighed the site’s impact on the green belt, and on the conservation area which covers Worsbrough Village and the nearby Grade II-listed Worsbrough Hall.

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But planners rejected the application, on the basis that it ‘constitutes inappropriate development that is harmful to the openness and visual amenities of the green belt’.

They added the site would be ‘materially harmful to the character and appearance’ of the conservation area and Worsbrough Hall, and could cause concerns over road safety as people entered and exited the site from Worsbrough Road.

The development would also harm trees in the area subject to a tree preservation order, in the planning board’s opinion.