Gypsy site in Essex village given the go ahead

TAKELEY is set to get a travellers’ site after the district council gave it the green light.

Despite widespread opposition to the plans – 80 objection letters and a petition signed by 73 people – the planning committee approved plans for eight caravans on the site, which is currently used as a paddock off The Street.

The site will be occupied by the extended Gypsy families of Mr Jones, the applicant, who lives next door.

Nigel Brown, planning officer for the council, told the meeting the proposals address the shortfall of traveller accommodation in the district.

However, the site has only been given approval on a temporary basis for four years, raising concerns from some.

Cllr Janice Loughlin said: “What concerns me is that in four years’ time, any families and especially children that would be living there, would then be wrenched up away from schools and other things.

“If they then refuse to go in four years’ time, we may have a mini Dale Farm on our hands.”

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Takeley Parish Council raised its worries about the site being in the Countryside Protection Zone, as well as the possible loss of local amenities and problems with noise disturbance.

The application was approved conditionally, with 10 councillors voting for, two against and one abstaining.