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Earsham gipsy site a step closer

PUBLISHED: 09:26 15 December 2009 | UPDATED: 08:59 01 August 2010

TWO new permanent gipsy and traveller sites in south Norfolk have moved a step closer following the completion of a second public consultation exercise.

TWO new permanent gipsy and traveller sites in south Norfolk have moved a step closer following the completion of a second public consultation exercise.

Pitches on the edge of Wymondham and Earsham, near Bungay, were shortlisted by councillors and officers at South Norfolk Council earlier this year from a list of more than 80 locations.

Cabinet members yesterday recommended proposals to submit its gipsy and traveller development plan document to the planning inspectorate, which could create 16 new council-owned pitches in the district by 2011.

It comes after another eight week public consultation, which received 128 letters of support and 26 objections to plans for sites off Stanfield Road, Wymondham, and Old Harleston Road, Earsham.

Officials from South Norfolk Council yesterday said they were continuing to work with Norfolk County Council to identify stubs of land off the main transport corridors to create new transit sites in the district.

The submission of the proposed permanent sites to a planning inspectorate, which would result in a public inquiry, come despite objections from landowner Goff Petroleum to the Wymondham scheme and opposition from residents and businesses to the encampment in Earsham.

Andrew Gregory, director of planning at South Norfolk, said: “We have gone through two consultations and it is an important landmark for us to move forward to take it to the inspector and public inquiry.”

John Fuller, South Norfolk Council leader, added that the plans would leave the local authority first in the queue to receive government monies to fund the gipsy and traveller sites and help address illegal encampments.

“It is the culmination of six or seven years of hard work. We were never going to get everyone to agree and it is always going to be a compromise and a difficult balancing act,” he said.

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