A CIRCUS’ plans to use land at Toynton St Peter as wintering quarters for its animals has been strongly opposed by local councillors.
Circus Mondao’s application also includes three mobile homes, a workshop and 1.15 metre fencing around the site at the south of New Lane.
Councillors at an extraordinary meeting on Thursday unanimously opposed the plans believing the development to be out of keeping with the village.
Coun Gillian Denniff said: “I fear that this quiet rural village with no public lighting would suffer an enormous change of character, should this application be successful.”
Access to the site was a recurring concern among many of those present at the meeting, who believed the lane to be too narrow to cope with the sort of vehicles necessary to transport animals and circus equipment.
Further fears centred on the circus’s ability to remove manure from the site, and yet more believed the development would pose an unsightly intrusion on the unspoiled rural surroundings.
Although the circus has since denied the claims, several councillors believed that licenses for music and lighting had already been granted for the site, which could result in late night rehearsals that may disturb neighbours.
Members of the public who had attended to voice their opinions on the application worried that it could ‘open a floodgate for other travellers to think Toynton is a soft target to set up camp.’
Circus ringmaster Petra Jackson, has said that there are no plans to use the site any differently to how it has already been used, other than to allow its members to be with their animals at all times, rather than left alone in a field.
She believes that other equestrian developments would not be met with the same level of opposition and that the circus has been ‘victimised’.
She said: “We love the village and we get on with most of the villagers, it just seems there’s an odd few who don’t want us here. We aren’t just fly-by-night gypsies, we are law abiding citizens, we bought the land, we built the stables that there was already planning permission for and we pay our taxes. We do everything correctly.”
The final decision will be made by East Lindsey District Council.