Travellers' site options spark new opposition

STEVE DOWNES The heat was turned up in a temporary travellers' site saga last night as 32 possible locations were earmarked.


The heat was turned up in a temporary travellers' site saga last night as 32 possible locations were earmarked.

The potential sites are all either in Cromer, Fakenham or Sheringham, or nearby villages.

They include a controversial site near Wood-Dene School at Aylmerton, which caused a rumpus when it was earmarked during an ill-fated

attempt to find a location earlier this year.

Also on the "long list" is an area at the end of Runton Road car park in Cromer, near to where travellers have pitched in the past and thrown Cromer's carnival into doubt.

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Other possible short stay stopping places identified for assessment include land at Pretty Corner, near Sheringham, the Splash overflow car park at Sheringham and three sites near Holt Road at Fakenham.

But North Norfolk District Council's bid to identify the transit areas has already run into strong opposition from a local pressure group.

Aylmerton, Beeston Regis, Sheringham (ABS) has made a detailed rebuttal of the reasoning behind the plan.

ABS said possible locations should be anywhere across north Norfolk, not restricted to areas in and around the three towns.

In a letter to the council, the group said there was no legal obligation on the council to find sites, and said the procedural approach was "flawed".

The full list of sites identified is:

off the A148 near Wood-Dene School at Aylmerton

near to Beeston Regis church

behind Cromer cemetery

west end of Runton Road car park, Cromer

next to the district council headquarters, Cromer

next to the recycling centre off the A148 at East Beckham

opposite the pumping station, Gibbet Lane, East Beckham

Red Barn Lane, East Beckham

Anglian Water site, East Runton

off Mill Lane, East Runton

next to Felbrigg water pumping station

Metton Road, Felbrigg

off the A148 at Felbrigg Great Wood

the top of Lion's Mouth, Felbrigg

the former Cromer High station, Northrepps

south of The Avenue, Northrepps

Pretty Corner, Sheringham

Splash overflow car park, Sheringham

Popes field, near the A148, Sheringham

Marlpit Lane, Upper Sheringham

Beckham Palace, West Beckham

the old dairy yard, West Runton

north of Cranmer Hall, Barsham

old Holt Road, Fakenham

off the old Holt Road, Fakenham

Norwich Road, Fakenham

off Holt Road, near A148 roundabout, Fakenham

off Trap Lane, Fakenham

Cherry Tree, Fakenham

Old Gravel Hill, Hempton

off Hempton Common

former Norfolk County Council highways depot, Thursford.

The sites will be discussed on Thursday at the gypsy and traveller consultation forum at the council's Cromer HQ at 10am.

The 30-member forum includes people from parishes likely to be affected.

In a report to the meeting, the council's strategic director Steve Blatch said there was "no statutory duty to provide sites".

But he said a government policy framework required local authorities to "identify land for sites in their area".

He said he believed the council's approach of considering and consulting the public on possible locations was "appropriate" and should continue.

If the process goes ahead, the consultations will take place early in 2007.