New consultation on gipsy sites

A new public consultation on potential gipsy and travellers sites in south Norfolk is likely to start in March 2009. The district council agreed to take a fresh look at controversial proposals for permanent sites in the Wymondham and Earsham areas, after an initial six week consultation resulted in more than 1,000 responses, including two protest petitions from worried residents voicing their concerns.

A NEW public consult-ation on potential gipsy and traveller sites in south Norfolk is likely to start in March 2009.

The district council agreed to take a fresh look at controversial proposals for permanent sites in the Wymondham and Earsham areas, after an initial six-week consultation resulted in more than 1,000 responses, including two protest petitions.

South Norfolk Council's gipsy and traveller working group has produced a report making a number of recommendations that will go before the authority's cabinet for approval tomorrow.

These include proposed changes in the criteria used when assessing potential sites and the reassessment of those already identified. .


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The working group accepted the effect of potential sites on residential and visual amenities of dwellings in the vicinity should be moved into the “essential” category, and should apply to nearby housing instead of just properties adjoining the sites.

The history of any current or previous occupations of the sites by gipsies and travellers should also be taken into account.

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At present, the search for suitable locations has been concentrated in areas within the A47, A11 and A143/A1066 corridors, and the group does not consider this should be extended to other main routes, or remote areas.

A suggested timescale would see a consultation on sites start in March and run for eight weeks, followed by a further six-week formal consultation on proposed submission documents in July and August.

Government funding is available to develop gipsy and traveller sites. But there is risk this will not be available if there are substantial delays which would mean funding would have to come from local council tax payers.

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