Planners have deferred a controversial scheme to double the size of a Gypsy site in West Wellow. 

The scheme, submitted by Glyn Powell, is to add two pitches to the site in Wellow Wood Road. 

Each pitch contains a mobile home, touring caravan and dayroom.

Test Valley Borough Council's southern area planning committee initially voted to refuse the plan, at its meeting on Tuesday, November 28. 

However they decided to defer it on the advice of the planning officer. 

The scheme proved to be controversial because Test Valley is currently short of its requirement for Traveller and Gypsy sites. However, national planning policy states that sites shouldn't 'dominate the settled community'.

READ MORE: East Wellow Traveller site threatened with legal action

Hampshire Chronicle: Site on Wellow Wood Road

The planning report, which recommended permission, said: “Taking into consideration the identified need, the council’s shortfall in the supply of suitable sites, and the council’s published strategy to meet its identified need, it is considered that the significant benefits of the scheme weigh in favour of permission and the public interest is best met by resolving to approve the application.”

There were no public speakers at the committee, however an objection from Melchet Park and Plaitford Parish Council said: "This application is for yet two more gypsy pitches on the land adjacent to Wellow Wood Road. Considering the number of pitches already in the small locality consisting of Sherfield English Lane, Flowers Lane, Scallows Lane and Wellow Wood Road any further increase would contravene even further the planning framework which clearly states that such pitches should not dominate the settled community.”

The application's case officer, Mark Staincliffe, said: “There would be an element of dominance in the settled community. We are failing quite badly to meet the need for Gypsy and Traveller sites.”

Borough councillor Gordon Bailey, who represents the Blackwater ward, said: “This should not dominate the settled community. We now have an application that will bring the number of Gypsies on that land to more than the settled community. 

“We're only doing this because we do not have enough sites. We have very serious problems with the Embley Lane site. If these were houses, they couldn't be built as it's countryside. We should think seriously before considering this.”

Cllr Alan Dowden said: “It's clear that the council has a significant need for sites. It appears to me we can't refuse this.”

Cllr Alison Johnstone said: “The settled community is at risk of becoming unsettled. I can't support this.”

The scheme was initially voted for refusal by three to six, with one abstention. Mr Staincliffe told the committee that an appeal would be very difficult for the council to defend and suggested a deferral.

The committee supported the deferral, voting eight to two in favour.