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Decision time on new gipsy site

PUBLISHED: 17:30 22 April 2009 | UPDATED: 11:03 12 July 2010

A Romany gipsy's controversial plans for a private traveller site have been tipped for approval on Monday despite fears about road safety and the impact on the environment.

A Romany gipsy's controversial plans for a private traveller site have been tipped for approval on Monday despite fears about road safety and the impact on the environment.

John Leveridge, who restores vintage horse-drawn touring caravans, is seeking consent to convert agricultural land on the outskirts of Carleton Rode, near Attleborough.

He wants to provide six permanent traveller pitches with amenity blocks, and two touring caravans for his extended family at the site off The Turnpike (B1113 road). But the scheme has generated more than 175 letters of objection from local residents and neighbouring villagers in Bunwell and Old Buckenham.

They have raised concerns about increased traffic dangers on the busy B1113, where the speed limit is 60mph, impact on the agricultural landscape and the “inappropriate” change of use from farmland to a residential site. County council highway's officials had recommended refusal after carrying out a survey of traffic speeds on the B1113. But the planning application has been updated with a revised access which the authority now considers acceptable, providing that claims of 215m visibility in both directions can be demonstrated.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England has also objected, the high traffic speeds, lack of footpaths in the vicinity, and remoteness of the site from facilities among its concerns.

South Norfolk Council has also received more than 20 letters of support for Mr Leveridge, who has lived in Great Melton for the last 11 years.

The district planning committee has been recommended to approve the application subject to a string of conditions. These include consent personal to the Leveridge family, a maximum of eight caravans, use of site limited to residential and specified storage, closure of existing access, ecological mitigation, landscaping and tree protection.

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