Councillors have admitted they are concerned about traffic if a new ‘glamping’ campsite gets the go-ahead.
A planning application has been submitted for agricultural land on Abnalls Lane to be converted.
The owners of the site say it is no longer suitable for grazing and hope to create a 30-pitch facility on the land near Maple Hayes school instead.
But Cllr Eric Drinkwater told a meeting of Burntwood Town Council’s planning committee that traffic using Abnalls Lane was a concern.
“This is a difficult application to judge,” he said. “Both the applicant and those opposing it make relevant points.
“But we have to remember that Abnalls Lane is not for cars unless it is for access. It is actually part of the National Cycle Network and there are gates which should be locked but often aren’t.
“I was against the initial plan to close Abnalls Lane to traffic several years ago, but the move was approved. Unless the county council have backtracked on the road being used by cars then this is going to be an obstacle which needs to be overcome.”
Cllr Douglas Constable added that the close proximity of the school may also be an issue.
“There are likely to be young children near to the site and it’s important that we keep in mind their needs,” he said.
“It’s also an open-ended application – once it’s built, it’s there.”
The planning meeting also heard from local resident Peter Drew who said noise from the site would have a direct impact on those living nearby.
“Lichfield is already well served by by campsites and this application will, if anything, take business away from the smaller bed and breakfasts and campsites,” he said.
“The applicant says the ground is no longer suitable for grazing animals, but there are cows grazing there at the moment. If this approach was adopted across the district tit would lead to the large scale loss of agricultural land.
“Even with the 30 pitches proposed, that could mean 120 people for six months of the year. The sort of people who would use a glamping facility are unlikley to be coming for quiet reflection in tranquil surroundings.”
But Gail Edwards, speaking on behalf of the landowner, said noise and traffic arguments did not stack up.
“There are no similar facilities in the Lichfield area,” she said. “Some residents are concerned over the noise, but any noise will also directly impact on us as our homes are on the site.
“A 10-acre site could hold around 200 pitches, but we are only seeking 30 as this would be enough for us to make a living. We are also looking at restrictions on large groups and noise.
“Much of the traffic using Abnalls Lane is from the school. Given our main busy periods will be in the school holidays, there won’t be any significant increase in traffic.”
Full details of the proposal can be seen on Lichfield District Council’s planning website.