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Animals escaped from unauthorised Gypsy site onto Norwich Airport

PUBLISHED: 14:28 08 October 2018 | UPDATED: 07:26 09 October 2018

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

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

Archant

Animals kept at a site which has been occupied by a family without planning permission have previously escaped onto Norwich Airport, a report claims.

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

Norwich City Council will this week decide whether to take enforcement action at the site, off Holt Road, following a breach of planning policy.

A report which will go before the council’s planning committee on Thursday said caravans have been stationed at the paddock without planning permission since October 2017.

It said that Norwich Airport had also raised concern around waste from the site blowing onto its land and causing a safety issue.

The report added: “There is further concern that a number of animals have escaped from the paddock onto airport land.”

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

The Romany Gypsy family currently living on the paddock claim to own the site.

However, the council report said no evidence has so far been provided to prove their claim.

Along with the caravans, a 2m-high timber fence has been erected at the front of the site, also without permission.

Council officers have recommended councillors push for enforcement action to ensure the family moves off the land after 18 months.

When the case was last put to planning committee members on August 9 this year, they voted to defer the decision.

Councillors asked officers to investigate whether the use of the land could be allowed, subject to certain measures being implemented.

While several measures have been suggested in the latest report, it said they would not resolve the planning issue.

The report added: “Officers remain concerned that the option of under-enforcement would adequately address the planning harm caused by the development including on the amenities of the occupiers of the land.”

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.

The family living at the site have been contacted for comment.

More: Norfolk Gypsies speak out about discrimination they face

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