MP's concerns over gypsy site

PUBLISHED: 06:20 06 April 2006 | UPDATED: 09:05 24 May 2010

AN MP has written a letter to Sedgemoor District Council in support of a controversial gypsy development. David Heathcoat-Amory wrote to the authority to say he is in favour of plans for the site in Rooksbridge but does have concerns over some of the cond

AN MP has written a letter to Sedgemoor District Council in support of a controversial gypsy development.David Heathcoat-Amory wrote to the authority to say he is in favour of plans for the site in Rooksbridge but does have concerns over some of the conditions of the application.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.In his letter Mr Heathcoat-Amory said: "I write in support of this planning application which I hope will bring an end to a most unsatisfactory situation which has lasted for some 16 years. "I have attended a number of meetings with long-suffering neighbours of this site who deserve a solution which respects their own rights to privacy and a settled and peaceful environment."But Mr Heathcoat-Amory has made it clear that he is not happy with all aspects of the planning application. In particular he is unhappy about the number of caravans or trailers which would be allowed to stay on the site.In his letter to Steve Atkinson, the council's head of development control, he also wrote: "I am also objecting to the proposed number of seven caravans on each site designated for occupancy. This is more than the number required to house the existing occupants and I therefore believe that to allow more caravans will create a larger site for an unspecified number of future occupants."Linda Kear, who lives in Rookery Close opposite the site, said: "Mr Heathcoat-Amory did tell us he agreed with the plans in principle. We did hope he would take the same line as us - to object to the plan full stop."But it is good that he raised objections to the number of caravans to be allowed on the site."The application will be considered at the next development control committee on Tuesday. A number of residents are planning to go the meeting.

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