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Villagers applaud gipsy site re-think

PUBLISHED: 08:00 28 November 2008 | UPDATED: 07:48 01 August 2010

More than 100 South Norfolk villagers gathered to applaud plans to re-think criteria which will be used to decide where permanent gipsy and traveller sites will be located across the district.

More than 100 South Norfolk villagers gathered to applaud plans to re-think criteria which will be used to decide where permanent gipsy and traveller sites will be located across the district.

Residents from Kirby Cane and Ellingham, which is a reserve location for a site under district council plans, were thanked by South Norfolk Council leader John Fuller on Tuesday night for their feedback on the new document.

He accepted their main criticism, which was that the impact on of gipsy and traveller sites on neighbours was listed only as “desirable”.

After the meeting he also agreed to ask a working party to relook at

the “corridor” plotting system, which has been used to select a certain number of sites from specific

areas.

Richard Lees, leader of a residents' group in the village, spoke in support of the fact that the council's cabinet is being recommended at its meeting on Monday to amend the document and launch a second consultation, before taking a fresh look at the 10 potential sites across the district, plus three new suggested locations.

The final decision about which three sites will be converted is now not expected to be made before the

spring.

Mr Lees thanked the council for listening to residents' views, saying afterwards: “The residents' amenity criteria must be changed otherwise it will cause friction.

“We want this process to succeed.”

Mr Fuller said the proposals would be “fine-tuned” rather than “binned”, with a view to giving more weight in particular to the “impact on immediate neighbours”.

A report to the council's cabinet recommends that members agree on Monday to hold a second consultation, and take a fresh look at the proposals for preferred sites at Earsham, Ketteringham and Suton, and reserve sites at Kirby Cane, Ketteringham and Spooner Row.

Ellingham and Kirby Cane parish council chairman Lawrie Cannard said: “I welcome the initiative, but I feel it's an awful shame that this episode wasn't handled correctly in the first place.

“Now the people of Kirby Cane and Ellingham are in a situation of uncertainty for another three months, which doesn't seem fair.”

Last month over 250 packed the village hall for a public meeting at which the district council

explained its reasons for making a site at Church Road, Kirby Cane the reserve site for travellers should the preferred site at Earsham prove unacceptable.

That is now all back in the melting pot. ­

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