CIVIC chiefs have approved plans to expand a traveller site in Shedfield.

The Sherwood family had applied to install three additional mobile homes on their land in Pricketts Hill.

A planning committee on May 26 heard this is to make room for their children who are growing up and need their own space.

The family's agent Dr Angus Murdoch said: "Arrangements have changed – the family has grown and need more caravans. The family already have permission for two permanent pitches, approved by this committee in 2018.

"There is now a shortage of residential homes at the site and the members of the family have been living in mobile touring homes, but these are too small to live in permanently.

"The applicant lives on site and has worked extensively with the city council's officers to ensure any work is in accordance with policies."

Dr Murdoch added that the children have searched elsewhere for a site to live but have been unsuccessful.

Now, the family has permission to site five permanent mobile homes, each of which will have a touring caravan parked outside.

Cllr Mike Read said he was concerned the family could move away.

"The fact is this site is for a single family," he said, "but can we not have a condition in place? I can see otherwise this land being exchanged. Elsewhere, I have seen one group disappear and then the site is exchanged."

Strategic planning manager Julie Pinnock said a condition of this nature is not possible.