Mini village for gypsies backed

PUBLISHED: 06:03 13 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:35 24 May 2010

OWNERS of a gypsy caravan park have been given permission to extend their site in the hope it will cut down on illegal camps. Moorland Park will now have 12 new caravan pitches added to it, creating a new 'mini village' for gypsy and traveller communities

OWNERS of a gypsy caravan park have been given permission to extend their site in the hope it will cut down on illegal camps.Moorland Park will now have 12 new caravan pitches added to it, creating a new 'mini village' for gypsy and traveller communities in North Somerset.Members of North Somerset Council's planning and regulatory committee unanimously approved a planning application for the expansion of the site, off the A370 between Hewish and Congresbury, at a meeting this week. There are nearly 20 pitches at the site already.Council officers urged members not to let the proposals go through until a survey had been carried out into whether there was a big enough demand for more gypsy camps in the district.But councillors believe there are already too many sites operating without planning permission and said there was an obvious need for more space they could control.In January, the authority counted 20 unauthorised caravans in North Somerset.The plans were first submitted nearly a year ago by Moorland Park Developments and councillors said they had dithered long enough on a decision.Councillor John Crockford-Hawley said: "Congresbury Parish Council has not complained and the other nearest parish council in Puxton has made no observations."I think we are all of the opinion there is a need for a provision and here we have a businessman willing to provide it."Permission for the expansion was granted with conditions to make sure the new caravans had as little impact as possible on the environment.

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