A PLAN for four static chalets on an existing gypsy site in Brierley Hill has been given the thumbs up despite more than 100 objections from neighbours.

The land at 55, Delph Lane is an allocated gypsy and traveller site and currently comprises existing structures which have fallen into disrepair.

A full planning application had been submitted seeking permission for a change of use of the land to permit the installation of five static residential chalets and had attracted more than 100 objections, with concerns over the site being off a narrow single-track lane behind the busy Amblecote Road and extra traffic on a lane used by schoolchildren.

Dudley News: The site from above The site from above (Image: Google satellite)

But now applicant and land owner Pauline Smith has been granted a certificate of lawfulness for an existing use of the land as a residential caravan site for up to four caravans for a continuous period of more than 10 years.

Notes by planners state: "The land has been used historically for residential purposes for Romany gypsies since the 1960s."

They go on to say that objections raised to the planning application cannot be considered as it "is not concerned with the merits of a change of use, but only whether a legal case is made for the use to be considered as lawful development."

"The onus is on the applicant to provide sufficiently precise and unambiguous evidence demonstrating that the site has been used for the proposed purposes for a continuous period of ten years or more before the date of this application."

They then state that "the evidence justifies the granting of a certificate, therefore the claim that the site has been occupied by up to 4 residential caravans for a continuous period in excess of 10 years has been demonstrated and satisfied."

A resident of Gayfield Avenue said: "I still object to the decision.

"We have lived here for ten years and were never informed about the site, we would not have purchased the property if we had. This site looks directly onto our garden and into our bedroom and bathroom."

A resident of Southcott Avenue said: "Delph Lane is a very tight lane which is frequently used by pedestrians, including children going to and from local schools. There are no pavements."