A FAMILY of travelling showpeople from Kidderminster say they will be made homeless if a planning application to move their fairground equipment and caravans onto green belt land is refused again.

The Jennings' fairground rides have been a feature of Stourport Carnival since 1947, but the family have been struggling to find a permanent home within the Wyre Forest district after being told they can't store the equipment on their own land.

A planning application to store 11 caravans and equipment on the Jennings' land off Heath Lane near Kidderminster was refused in 2014 because planners said the development would harm the openness of the green belt.

Kidderminster Shuttle:

Wyre Forest District Council has since allocated land in its Local Plan Review for travelling showpeople at the old Burlish Golf Course - which also lies in the green belt - but the Jennings say it will cost them thousands to clear and fence off the site.

Neil Jennings, aged 65, said: "We've been searching for a plot of land since 2003. We bought the plot in Heath Lane, which we knew was in the green belt, and had all the necessary tests done, but then our planning application got refused.

"Now the council have finally found some space for us on the old Burlish Golf Course - but that's also in the green belt and it's covered in rubble and flytipped rubbish. It doesn't make sense.

"We've also been told we might only get temporary planning permission there so we could be chucked out in two years time."

Kidderminster Shuttle:

The Jennings have been served an eviction notice at their current home at Long Bank, near Bewdley, and Neil says his family members will be made homeless at the end of the month if the planning application is rejected.

Neil has also responded to criticism of his family on social media, saying: "People don't understand that we're business people. We're not gypsies.

"We've got half a million pounds worth of equipment - all on wheels - and we have to find a space to maintain it."

The plans are set to be decided by Wyre Forest's planning committee on September 17.

A spokesman for Wyre Forest District Council said: "The site is on an area of the former Burlish Golf Course where there is an existing car park and hardstanding areas. This means the site is on a previously developed site within the green belt.

Kidderminster Shuttle:

"This differs from the previous proposal at Heath Lane. The officer’s recommendation will be based using national and local planning policies on previously developed sites within the green belt.

“This part of the former golf course is currently proposed within the Local Plan Review for allocation for a travelling showman’s site and employment land.

"The plan is currently out for final consultation prior to submission to the Planning Inspectorate next year and it will only take effect when the plan is adopted. The planning committee will consider the current proposal alongside these emerging allocations.

"The planning committee may resolve to approve the application for a temporary period to avoid prejudicing the delivery of other allocations should the current application overlap the proposed employment land.”