Council urged to fight gypsy camp

PUBLISHED: 06:07 30 March 2006 | UPDATED: 09:03 24 May 2010

RESIDENTS have asked a parish council for someone to voice their views at an important meeting. Three Rooksbridge residents turned up to an East Brent Parish Council meeting on Monday to make sure that someone will put forward their views about proposals

RESIDENTS have asked a parish council for someone to voice their views at an important meeting.Three Rooksbridge residents turned up to an East Brent Parish Council meeting on Monday to make sure that someone will put forward their views about proposals to make a gypsy site permanent at Sedgemoor's next development control committee on April 4. But the parish council said Councillor John Smith had already said he would speak at the meeting if nobody else puts themselves forward.The proposals for the land in Mendip Road, Rooksbridge, were considered at the council's development control committee earlier this month and councillors decided to carry out a site visit to look at the land properly. Sedgemoor spokesman Colin Arnold had said that he hoped a decision would be made at the next meeting.One of the residents who attended the meeting was Jason Poole, who lives in Rookery Close. He said after the meeting: "We turned up to make sure one of the parish council members turns up at the meeting to shout our case."Our main concerns are how far the camp is from our houses and the number of caravans on the site. We can't understand why seven caravans are needed."Three of us turned up to the meeting but everyone in the close feels the same way."The council has a compulsory purchase order for the site. It plans to give compensation to the land's owners and sell some land back to two gypsy families currently living there to set up a permanent development. As part of the plans, the gypsies' immediate relatives may also be allowed to live on the site.Under the proposals, there would be two separate entrances to the site. There would also be an earth mound at the back of the area to provide screening and noise reduction. The battle over the site has been raging for more than 15 years.

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