Travellers await decision on future

TRAVELLERS living temporarily at a site earmarked for a housing development are today waiting to hear if their short-term future is secured.The community settled at the Forge Caravan Site, Great Finborough, are currently living in limbo as outline planning permission has been granted to build six homes on the site.

TRAVELLERS living temporarily at a site earmarked for a housing development are today waiting to hear if their short-term future is secured.

The community settled at the Forge Caravan Site, Great Finborough, are currently living in limbo as outline planning permission has been granted to build six homes on the site.

Mid Suffolk district councillors granted the permission in 2001 on the condition detailed plans were submitted within three years.

Owners of the site failed to meet the deadline but now want to see it extended.


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Councillors will meet on Wednesday to decide whether to give the applicant more time, or to designate the area as a more permanent travellers' site.

The decision comes as pressure rises on councils across England to provide more authorised gypsy sites. The shortage of pitches for travellers is estimated at 4,500.

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The Great Finborough site, between Combs Lane and Finborough Road, is currently authorised for 38 pitches.

A district council spokesman said: "The fact the recent permission has to be renewed provides the opportunity to consider any changes in circumstances that may have occurred since permission was originally granted."

It has been recommended by planning experts that the site should now be kept for travellers.

John Matthissen, of Wash Lane Corner, Great Finborough, is one of the residents who objected to an extension of the planning permission.

He said: "My main concern is the flood risk.

"There's not much interaction between the travellers and other residents and we don't have major problems with them.

"However, we are worried about the way they keep raising the level of the ground by dumping materials and we would like this side of things properly looked at, so, if houses are built, matters aren't made worse.

"There's not many people on the site although in the last six months or so there's been an increase."

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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