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New setback for site plans

PUBLISHED: 14:42 15 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:34 01 August 2010

PLANS for two new gipsy and traveller sites in south Norfolk received a fresh setback yesterday after they were put on hold for a further six weeks.

South Norfolk Council's proposals for permanent pitches in Wymondham and Earsham were put on ice earlier this month following the concerns of an independent planning inspector.

PLANS for two new gipsy and traveller sites in south Norfolk received a fresh setback yesterday after they were put on hold for a further six weeks.

South Norfolk Council's proposals for permanent pitches in Wymondham and Earsham were put on ice earlier this month following the concerns of an independent planning inspector.

Fears have been raised about the suitability and deliverability of the district council's gipsy and traveller development plan document (DPD) for sites at Stanfield Road, Wymondham, and Old Harleston Road, Earsham.

The local authority yesterday confirmed that it had extended the suspension of its proposals from three weeks to an extra six weeks as it considers its next step forward.

Officials revealed that they were waiting for the outcome of the general election before making a decision on whether to withdraw its plans for the two eight-pitch sites.

Planning inspector Simon Emerson has asked the council to seek advice from the Health and Safety Executive over its plans near the Goff Petroleum fuel storage depot at Stanfield Road. The council's other proposed site is between a pig farm and scaffolding company at Earsham.

Andrew Gregory, director of planning, housing and the built environment, has asked the Planning Inspectorate to suspend the DPD examination until May 24 to allow more time to consider the inspectors concerns.

In a letter to the inspector, Mr Gregory said the withdrawal of the plans would pose financial implications for the council.

“Members are very concerned at the potential timing of a decision with the general election. They would prefer to take a decision with a clearer indication of what national political context policy is likely to be in the near future.”

“The Health and Safety Executive has still not conformed its position with regard to the safety zones for the oil depot at Stanfield Road, Wymondham. It also has not allowed the council to reach an agreed position with Goff Petroleum,” he said.

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