Norfolk council urged to take its time planning new gypsy and traveller sites

Council bosses have been urged to take their time in achieving government aims for more gypsy and traveller sites.

Broadland District Council is looking to provide 20 pitches in its area between 2012 and 2026, in line with a government target to increase the number of sites in appropriate locations.

But the authority has been encouraged to develop in-depth plans indentifying the best possible pitches rather than accepting the first applications that are submitted.

Turkey producer Bernard Matthews, parish councils and residents led the calls as they successfully defeated a proposal for two pitches on land off Honingham Road, Weston Longville. They insisted the application was not in a sustainable location as Weston Longville lacked facilities.

A New Costessey ethnic Romany Gypsy family was hoping to use the land. The plans included two mobile homes, four touring caravans, a building housing a utility room and bathroom, an access road, car parking area and two paddock areas.

Plans documented applicant Rebecca Gallagher, who is site manager and a resident at the Roundwell site, in New Costessey, intended to keep sending her three children to school and nursery in Costessey.

They added: 'The applicants have tried to live in bricks and mortar housing but have found it claustrophobic and difficult to tolerate and they have a preference for a site where they can look after their horses.'

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Broadland District Council's planning committee refused the application by 12 votes to one. What do you think? Email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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