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Gipsy site proposals put on hold

PUBLISHED: 09:00 28 May 2010 | UPDATED: 09:44 01 August 2010

CONTINUED doubts over plans to build two new Gipsy and traveller sites in south Norfolk have caused the proposals to be put on hold again.

South Norfolk Council's bid for eight permanent pitches in Stanfield Lane, near Wymondham, along with similar plans for a site in Earsham have been sidelined for a further six weeks.

CONTINUED doubts over plans to build two new Gipsy and traveller sites in south Norfolk have caused the proposals to be put on hold again.

South Norfolk Council's bid for eight permanent pitches in Stanfield Lane, near Wymondham, along with similar plans for a site in Earsham have been sidelined for a further six weeks.

The authority's Gipsy and Traveller Development Plan Document (DPD) was first suspended in April following concerns raised by an independent inspector.

Inspector Simon Emerson said he had 'serious concerns' about the construction of the Wymondham pitches adjacent to oil supplier Goff Petroleum's depot, which owns the land and already has plans in the pipeline to expand onto the plot.

He said it would be 'poor planning' to introduce a use which would curtail the potentially acceptable expansion of a business and urged the council to seek advice from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

A spokesman for the council said it had now asked Mr Emerson to suspend the examination of the DPD until July 5 so it can continue to address his concerns in a bid to save the document from the scrapheap.

“This is principally because of the proposed allocation of a gipsy and traveller site in Stanfield Road, near Wymondham. The position on this is still not clear because we are still waiting for advice from the Health and Safety Executive,” he said.

He said that the HSE had received a letter from Goff Petroleum saying the company wished to store fuel on the proposed site. The HSE wants extra time to gather more information on the company's plans before it advises the council on the DPD.

The council's second proposed site in Old Harleston Road, in Earsham, has also proved unpopular with residents with people questioning whether gipsies and travellers would like to live there as it sits between a scaffolding company and a pig farm.

The two sites were whittled down from 82 possible plots through public consultations and by the council's own Gipsy and traveller working group as part of a bid to find more permanent pitches in the district by 2011.

Following the criticism by Mr Emerson, the DPD was suspended for three weeks, but this was extended for a further six weeks until Monday, to allow for the outcome of the general election.

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