Gipsy site still causing controversy

District planners have been urged to reject an application to develop a private gipsy site in Carleton Rode.

District planners have been urged to reject an application to develop a private gipsy site in Carleton Rode.

Romany John Leveridge is seeking consent to establish a permanent home for his extended family on agricultural land he has bought at The Turnpike where he plans to have six pitches each with a mobile home and amenity block, plus two touring caravans.

Objectors claim the access is on a dangerous stretch of road that is an accident blackspot, and that the rural location is unsuitable for a development of this nature.

John Laurie, parish council chairman, said that members voted unanimously for refusal at a public meeting on Tuesday, called to discuss the application which has sparked controversy.

'South Norfolk Council sent out three officers, Andrew Gregory, director of planning, Chris Trett who is the case officer and Tony cook, the strategic housing officer. They were very useful in that they were able to answer people's queries regards the planning system, and with particular reference to this case.'

Prior to the meeting, the parish council had received over 120 letters and all except one had opposed the development.

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Derek Blake, South Norfolk Council cabinet member for planning, housing and the built environment, said yesterday: 'The private planning application for a gipsy and traveller site at Carleton Rode is a totally and utterly separate process from the wider search for gypsy and traveller sites across South Norfolk.

'The Carleton Rode application will be considered in exactly the same way as any other planning application, including a consultation with local people and key statutory agencies like the county highways authority. I expect it to be considered by our main planning committee in the near future.'

It is understood that the Government Office for the East will advise councils in April whether private site pitches count towards the need for official sites.

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