Gypsy camp - van numbers cut

PUBLISHED: 07:25 13 April 2006 | UPDATED: 09:07 24 May 2010

PERMISSION to create a controversial gypsy development has been given the go-ahead after more than 15 years of controversy. Sedgemoor District Council considered a planning application for the site in Mendip Road, Rooksbridge, and approved it at its devel

PERMISSION to create a controversial gypsy development has been given the go-ahead after more than 15 years of controversy.Sedgemoor District Council considered a planning application for the site in Mendip Road, Rooksbridge, and approved it at its development control committee on Tuesday. But officers also said there should be alterations to the original plans.Sedgemoor has a compulsory purchase order for the site. It wanted to relocate the existing entrance and replace it with two new entrances with timber gates. The district council also proposed building a brick and block wall around the plots, a 5ft willow wall to the back of the site, screening to the front of the site and an eight metre high earth bund at the back of the site to provide screening and noise reduction. But planning permission given this week is subject to changes to the proposed boundary wall and earth bund. The committee also decided that there should be a maximum of four caravans on each of the two plots at any time rather than the seven originally proposed.A Sedgemoor spokesman said: "The committee had given very careful regard to the issues and concerns raised by local residents in making their decision. The agreement of planning permission is a very important milestone in the resolution of this long-running issue."District councillors will now undertake the further work that is required before the planning permission can be issued."Linda Kear, a resident in Rookery Close, said: "The decision wasn't a surprise. I am pleased that the number of caravans has been limited to four per plot."I went to the meeting. In fact about 15 residents went along and a lot of questions were asked."I feel this is a good outcome. Anything is better than what we have at the moment and hopefully things will improve."The committee said the gypsies cannot store any scrap materials and no business use would be granted for the site. It is a step in the right direction."Sedgemoor corporate director Doug Bamsey says the district council must provide details of the cost of the scheme before it can get final approval.He said: "We must give a full estimate before final approval can be given and we are hoping to the get the estimate before the summer."We hope to start work certainly by the end of the year but we can't be sure of an exact timetable."The site still has a Highways Agency order on it which will be considered for removal once the amendments to the plans are made.

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