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Enforcement action could be taken against Gypsies near Norwich Airport

PUBLISHED: 09:28 18 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:28 18 August 2018

Gypsies who moved onto a paddock next to Norwich Aiport without planning permission could soon be forced to leave. Photo: Luke Powell

Gypsies who moved onto a paddock next to Norwich Aiport without planning permission could soon be forced to leave. Photo: Luke Powell

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Gypsies who moved onto a paddock next to Norwich Aiport without planning permission could soon be forced to leave.

Gypsies who moved onto a paddock next to Norwich Aiport without planning permission could soon be forced to leave. Photo: Luke PowellGypsies who moved onto a paddock next to Norwich Aiport without planning permission could soon be forced to leave. Photo: Luke Powell

The family, which claims to own the land at Holt Road, has occupied the site since October 2017.

But Norwich City Council is now proposing to take enforcement action due to a breach of planning control.

It said the land is being used for the stationing of residential caravans without planning permission.

A report, which went before the council’s planning committee this month, said: “The family has stated that they are ethnic Romany gypsies who in the past have led a nomadic habit of life.

Gypsies who moved onto a paddock next to Norwich Aiport without planning permission could soon be forced to leave. Photo: Luke PowellGypsies who moved onto a paddock next to Norwich Aiport without planning permission could soon be forced to leave. Photo: Luke Powell

“However they have sought to find a permanent base in order to provide their young children with a more settled environment, in particular to help them get an education.”

Council officers said there were two touring caravans on the site and a portable toilet as of July.

The occupiers told the council they were the owners of the paddock, but provided no evidence to prove it, the report said.

However, no one else has come forward claiming to own the site and it is currently unregistered.

The report said there were factors weighing both strongly in favour and against enforcement of the site.

A policy within the council’s development management policies plan said a minimum of eight additional traveller pitches were needed by March 2016.

But the report said this aim had not been met, and therefore weighed “significantly” in favour of the development against enforcement.

However, it said issues including the lack of a footpath leading to a site and the proximity of the airport runway supported enforcement action.

“The factors weighing against the proposal are considerable and most of them are very difficult or impossible to mitigate against,” the report said.

“In this instance it is considered that the harm outweighs the benefits, because despite the identified need the site is simply not suitable or sustainable for residential occupation.”

On August 9 Norwich City Council’s planning committee voted to defer the decision.

An update has been requested from the council.

Efforts were made to contact the family living at the site at Holt Road.

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