Inspector to decide fate of traveller site set up in village without planning permission

Julian Halls, Liberal Democrat councillor for Wymondham Pic: Liberal Democrats

Julian Halls, Liberal Democrat councillor for Wymondham Pic: Liberal Democrats - Credit: Liberal Democrats

An inspector will decide whether a traveller site which was pitched without planning permission can remain in a south Norfolk village.

A small number of families moved onto a plot of land known as The Hollyoaks in Suton early this year, almost a year after a planning application for the site was refused by South Norfolk Council.

After the encampment was reported to the council, officers took enforcement action against its occupants, ordering them to stop any development and to remove the caravans from the site..

However, 11 different people living there have now lodged appeals against the enforcement with the Planning Inspectorate, which could see them granted permission to stay on the site.

Liberal Democrat councillor Julian Halls, who represents the area on South Norfolk Council, said that while the settlement had had little impact on the neighbouring streets, but that there was frustration that the planning decision had not been honoured.

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He said: “In terms of the overall impact, other than some flooding when water mains were connected there, to be fair it has been fairly minimal. However, there has been a great deal of upset among neighbours that the refusal of planning permission has been ignored.

“There is another traveller site on Chepore Lane so there is a feeling that perhaps Suton has already done its bit,”

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Mr Halls, who is also chairman of Spooner Row, Suton and Wattlefield Community Council, added that he had concerns about two sites being so close to one another.

Currently there are 12 caravans on the site, with a stop notice issued by South Norfolk Council preventing any further ones from being added to the site.

An enforcement notice was issued on March 5 this year, with the appeals lodged with the Planning Inspectorate earlier this month.

A spokesman for South Norfolk Council said “The siting of the caravans and standing of the timber building/structures is visually prominent from nearby roads out of keeping with the open nature of the surrounding area. “Its countryside location, outside any defined development boundary is remote from local services and in conflict with the aims of sustainable development.”

The Planning Inspectorate will decide the appeal in due course.

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