COUNCILLORS have branded plans to retrospectively allow a building to be used as a dwelling on a single-family gypsy site as an “attempt to abuse the system.”

Applicant Billy Foster was refused permission for an amenity building to be used as a home for a single gypsy family in Great Broughton by Hambleton District Council’s planning committee.

On the site there is a single-storey dwelling with a pantiled roof and French doors which was approved for use as a utility building in association with the gypsy site, which had consent for one static caravan and one touring caravan.

The static caravan has now been moved from the site.

A spokesman for Mr Foster said features such as the plastic guttering and window frames could be changed to make the building more in keeping with nearby homes, and said neighbours would rather there be a home than a caravan on the site.

But Councillor Margaret Skillbeck said she wanted to see the plans rejected.

She said: “If this was approved we would be setting a precedent and would open the flood gates with all utility buildings becoming dwellings.

“Neighbours may prefer a bungalow to a mobile home but we would be leaving ourselves wide open policy wise.”

Coun Bridget Fortune added: “This is a site for one caravan and one touring caravan – anyone else has to build a house in designated sites and this should not be an exception.

“It is an attempt to abuse the system.”