Villagers seek legal advice to block second traveller site
PUBLISHED: 17:12 09 May 2019
Frustrated campaigners said they will fight proposals to build a second traveller site in a small Norfolk village.
The application to convert a horse grazing field in Suton, near Wymondham, into an eight-berth mobile home park was submitted to South Norfolk Council in February and has so far received more than 40 public comments.
If granted permission, eight pitches would be created on the 3.19 hectare site, each with a mobile home, day room, hard standing for a touring caravan and a stable building.
But the plans have angered people living nearby, prompting them to seek legal advice.
They claim the site on London Road would dominate the village due to its size and close proximity to an existing traveller site around 300 metres away on Chepore Lane, as well as posing a flood risk to existing properties.
Suton Parish Council said: "The proposed development would completely dominate the settled community in which it would be located. It is overbearing in terms of both size and number of proposed residences, being overall disproportionate to the size and density of the surrounding population."
Steve Lee lives on London Road in Suton and said: "The proposed field used to be three fields each with drainage ditches. Over the years these have been filled in and on this heavy land the water lays on the surface. We have been flooded through the ground floor of our house twice in the last three years. "We cannot express how much stress, anxiety and emotion being flooded causes."
The council's flood and water manager said the site was too small to warrant detailed comment.
But letters of support for the development drew attention to the positive impact the permanent site could have on children in the traveller community.
Andrew and Mary Biddles, who are hoping to secure a plot on the proposed site, said it would help their one-year-old daughter access a fair education.
In a letter of support, Mr Biddles wrote: "We don't want to travel around anymore because it will help our children to go to school if we settle. We would be near family - our father-in-law is applying for plot 2 and our brother-in-law for plot 6."