Go ahead for traveller pitch for Romany family

Thursday, 10 August, 2017

A traditional Romany gypsy family has been given the go ahead to set up a pitch on agricultural land in Weeley.

Tom Buckley put forward the scheme in Gutteridge Hall Lane to provide a base as his daughter starts at the village school in September.

The proposal involves a mobile home, touring caravan and a day room.

The site is in the open countryside and the plans were opposed by Weeley Parish Council and six other individual letters of objection were received by Tendring District Council (TDC).

TDC also received 11 letters in support of the scheme.

Members at Tuesday’s planning committee granted planning permission with five votes in favour, four against and two abstentions.

They approved a two year temporary consent which is personal to the family with no more than one pitch and two caravans.

Cath Bicknell, TDC’s Head of Planning, said: “This scheme - with the temporary and personal consent - is felt to be the right and most appropriate way to respond to the needs of the family and in particular the daughter who starts school in Weeley in September.

“It does not contravene her human rights in relation to a settled lifestyle and educational requirements.”

Mrs Bicknell added that within the two years the Council’s policy concerning Traveller sites will have been tested through the Local Plan process – and it is likely to be challenged by Mr Buckley in front of a Government inspector.

The committee heard that the site would not be considered for a normal residential development.

The Parish Council opposed the application as the land is outside the development boundary, because there are already enough Traveller pitches in Weeley and the extra traffic generated.

Gutteridge Hall Lane has recently been designated as a “quiet lane”, one of only two in Weeley.

Last updated on: 10/08/2017 - 16:07