PLANS for a temporary caravan site for members of the gypsy and traveller community heading to Appleby Horse Fair have been given the go-ahead.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has approved plans from Westmorland and Furness Council for temporary planning permission for Scrogg Bank Field off Cautley Road, Sedbergh, to be used as a gypsy and travellers’ site for 21 days a year around the world-famous fair.

The proposed use of the site is for the next five years and would be for 80-100 caravans.

A report by planning officers states: “The use of the site for the preceding years, together with the local representations, demonstrate the benefits of having a dedicated site to reduce ad hoc camping on highway verges.

“The location of the site is sustainable whilst also being sufficiently removed from residential properties to not have any direct effect on residential amenity.”

Scrogg Bank Field is approximately 1.45 hectares in size and located 1.5km from Sedbergh Town Centre. It is situated between the A683 and access road known as Buckbank Lane.

Planning documents state: “The use would provide a stopping off point for Gypsies and Travellers on their way to and from the Appleby Horse Fair which occurs annually in June. This event has taken place in Appleby for over 200 years and is the largest fair of its kind in Europe attracting 10,000 Gypsies and Travellers each year.

“People travel from all over the country using many routes through the national park to reach Appleby. This site has been used annually over the past decade as a temporary stopping off point to support the migration route through the local area.”

The council has also submitted a management plan for the site in which they state the site will be locked by officers before and after the 21-day period to prevent early and late occupancy of the field.

Westmorland and Furness Council and Cumbria Police officers will attend the site at least twice daily to ensure that the site is being properly and safely occupied and to check the facilities provided on site.

The council add they will provide three on site portable toilet units and provide black bin bags and a skip which will be emptied as and when required.

According to the management plan full clearance of any litter, fire debris and other waste not contained within the skip will be carried out by Westmorland and Furness Council Street cleansing operatives immediately after the travellers have vacated the site and within no more than five working days.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority approved the application on March 1.