A BID to keep an unauthorised static caravan on the site of a historic Grade II-listed dock has been rejected by planners.

Bullo Pill near Newnham-on-Severn is currently the subject of an enforcement order after Forest Council planners heard it was being used as a residential site by as many as 16 unauthorised static caravans, touring caravans, camper vans, house barges and boats, as well as a metal foundry.

Plans for houses beside the site were turned down in 2016, while a retrospective change of use of part of the dockland to a travelling show persons’ yard and workshop was also dismissed last year.

Planners considered a retrospective application from Darren Larkham of Bullo Ltd to continue to site a two-bedroomed static caravan on the west bank of the dock for “security and seafarer welfare”.

A report on behalf of the application said: “Bullo Pill dock and associated marshalling yards, commercial and industrial maritime development have subsisted on site for over a century and continue to fulfil the role as the second port on the River Severn at this stretch of the river subservient only to Lydney Dock…

“The current application site relates well to the existing and established settlement pattern of this part of Bullo and there is previous planning history with regard to the maritime development of the application site.”The report added that the port supported five jobs, and “new employment and other opportunities” existed there.

“The situation of the caravan support security and other seafaring welfare responsibilities and plays an important part in maintaining and creating new jobs on this historic port site,” it added.

But Newnham Parish Council told planners allowing the caravan to stay “would cause a significant negative impact” on nearby heritage assets.

It also said: “The access track to the site from the A48 is at significant risk of flooding.”

Gloucestershire Council’s highways department also objected, saying: “The site is in an unsustainable location without access to the full range of services, including education, shopping, health facilities and employment which would likely have to be accessed by private vehicles.

“The application has also failed to demonstrate a safe and suitable access to the site can be achieved by reason of the substandard visibility splay at the junction of Bullo Pill with the A48 for all users of the highway.”

Forest Council planning officer Tony Pope said no “specific information” had been provided as to why it was essential to the operation of the dock business.

“In December 2021 the council’s Planning Committee reviewed the siting of this caravan as part of an enforcement report, determining the use to be unacceptable and instructing officers to issue and serve an enforcement notice requiring the removal of the caravan.

“Additionally the site is not brownfield land, untidy or derelict and, as a result, it is considered that the principle of developing this site for a caravan for the purposes of security and seafarer’s welfare is unacceptable.”

The application was turned down on the grounds that it was in an unsustainable location outside the settlement boundary, because it would impact “unacceptably on heritage assets” and owing to flooding and road safety access concerns.

Enforcement action is currently being appealed by Mr Larkham over an order to remove static caravans on land beside the dock at Callow Cottage.

The enforcement action on the dockland itself came after planning officers noted “numerous accommodation units” including camper vans, a mobile home and caravans, plus an inhabited canal barge and houseboats.

Last August, the council was informed of a “substantial increase” in people living at the site