Councillors to visit gypsy site

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A GYPSY family are still waiting to see if they will gain planning permission to expand a site at Depden, amid mass objection from the local community.

Planning officers yesterday recommended St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s development control committee to approve the plans to increase the number of permitted caravans at Kelly’s Meadows from three to 10, as well as the building of amenity buildings and a new access on to the A143.

But instead, councillors called for a site visit.

The application has provoked anger, not least at the fact that council will buy the site and fund work before leasing it back to applicants, Linda and Vera Goodey.

“In a period of austerity, the borough council should not use tax-payers’ money to buy the site from the Goodey family, improve it with tax- payers’ money and then hand it back to residents,” said one objector.

The site won permission on appeal for three gypsy caravans in 2005 – currently there are seven, but a committee report said those extra caravans were for relatives looking after a seriously ill family member.

Planning officer Peter Fuller said that the council should not take enforcement action while the family were applying for planning permission.

Wickhambrook Parish Council and more than 30 households objected to the proposals. Concerns included development of a greenfield site outside the housing settlement and increased potential for accidents on the A143.

Councillors agreed to visit the site on February 17.