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Gipsy sites plan moves ever closer...

PUBLISHED: 14:30 07 May 2008 | UPDATED: 08:57 13 July 2010

By DOMINICCHESSUM

dominic.chessum@archant.co.uk



Controversial plans to build two short-stay travellers' sites in north Norfolk have taken another step closer - but councillors have reiterated their opposition to building permanent pitches.

By DOMINICCHESSUM

dominic.chessum@archant.co.uk

Controversial plans to build two short-stay travellers' sites in north Norfolk have taken another step closer - but councillors have reiterated their opposition to building permanent pitches.

The district council's cabinet has voted to accept two proposed temporary sites at Cromer and Fakenham.

But at the same time it voted to strongly oppose a regional strategy which would see 15 permanent residential pitches created in the district. Councillors said there was no proven need for the measure.

Though a final a decision on the two issues will be taken by full council, the vote paves the way for planning applications for the two temporary sites to be submitted this month.

The Cromer site, near the council offices and proposed police station on Holt Road, will cost £545,000, and the one off the Fakenham bypass will cost £844,000, the higher cost owing to the extra work needed to alter the road.

Grant funding from the government will cover the costs of building with running costs coming out of the council's environmental health budget.

Both sites have met strong local opposition. A parish poll in Fakenham rejected the idea and many in Cromer agreed in principle that a temporary travellers' site was needed but said the chosen site was wrong. Opponents of the schemes have pledged to continue their opposition at the planning stage.

As cabinet members agreed to the two temporary sites they voted to repeat their clear message to the East of England Regional Assembly that its strategy of forcing each district in the region to have 15 full-time residential pitches was unacceptable.

The unelected regional body announced the proposals late last year and they are due to be scrutinised by inspectors in the coming months.

NNDC has already said it would prefer permanent sites only to be located in areas where there is a proven need for long-term provision, something that is not the case in north Norfolk.


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