A GYPSY and Traveller site that has applied for retrospective planning permission has been criticised as ‘making a mockery of the planning process’.

The plot is off the Bath Road and to the east of Woolhampton. The occupiers have asked for planning permission after setting up camp. 

The camp has two day rooms, two mobile homes and two touring caravans. Two families live there, with five children. 

Woolhampton parish council is objecting to the application, as the plot was greenfield, and not a preferred site in the local plan. 

The eastern area planning committee at West Berkshire Council will decide whether to grant permission at a public meeting on July 17. 

The council received at least 36 letters from the public objecting to the site. These raised concerns over flooding and drainage, and that it is a retrospective application. 

Elliot Wright said: “It makes a mockery of the planning process.”

Others were concerned about extra traffic, and that the site could be expanded in the future. Some thought pollution runoff could end up in the Kennet river. 

Tony Renouf said: “Planning laws offer no protection to the residents.”

The site, measuring 55 by 40 metres, is ‘apparently owned’ by the two families living there, according to planning officers. 

The officers said it was ‘regrettable’ that the application is retrospective, but still acceptable. They are recommending that the planning committee grant permission. 

However, the officers are also recommending conditions, such as the site must not expand or be used to store commercial equipment.