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News


Gypsy Family Await Council Decision

Friday September 9 2011


Barnsley Town Hall Barnsley Town Hall


A GYPSY family who are living on land off Warren Walk in Royston have won the support of their neighbours in their appeal to be allowed to stay on the land.

Dennis and Phyllis Smith, their son Patrick Dennis Smith and Eileen Connors, Tom Smith and Jacqueline Purcell and their children have been living on the green belt land after being given temporary planning permission in 2008.

But that expires in March 2013 and, if they don't get the new application approved, they will have to move on and put the land back to how it was before they sited their caravans there.

The family have applied for permission from Barnsley Council for permission to stay on the site permenently as they say they are now settled within the community, the children attend local schools.

Six letters of support and a petition of 13 signatures has been sent in from from residents who support the Smith family's bid to stay on the site.

Council planners now have to decide whether to let the family stay or not - the caravans are on greenbelt land and several applications to build houses on the land in question have all been dismissed.

The report said: "The South Yorkshire Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment identified a specific need for 48 additional pitches within the borough by 2011.  Since then 16 pitches have been granted either full or temporary permission, there are also at present approximately 20 pitches within the Borough which are unauthorised but tolerated.

"In these circumstances significant weight has been attached to the lack of alternative sites and also the personal needs of the applicant and their family."

The Council-owned gypsy and traveller site off Smithies Lane - also in the Green Belt - has 28 pitches and the Council is investing in improvements at the site to improve facilities and add an extra two pitches.

The report adds: "The Smithies site has a waiting list and the turnover of pitches is slow with one becoming available (approximately) every 4yrs.  In addition, there are no other alternative sites currently available, which significantly weighs in favour of the applicant."

The family now await a decision from Barnsley Council - it was deferred from the planning meeting this week but had been earmarked for approval.

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Reply Posted by Rickr10 on Friday September 9 2011 at 17:59
Yet again the council is expected to change the rules for gypsies.  Land is designated green belt for a reason. Simply in the interest of fairness they need to apply the same rule to caravan dwellers that they would to a home owner.