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Newark and Sherwood District Council reassures community of Gypsies they won't be evicted until it finds somewhere else for them to go



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A council has reassured a community of Gypsies they won’t be evicted until it has found another place for them to go.

A planning inspectorate has ruled that the Travellers on an unauthorised site off the A46 at Winthorpe need to be gone within 12 months because of flood risk and noise.

However, because the district council has nowhere for them to go and would be making them homeless if they were forced to leave, the authority is letting them remain there for the time being.

Matilda Lamb, 2, lives at the site off the A46 at Winthorpe.
Matilda Lamb, 2, lives at the site off the A46 at Winthorpe.

Newark and Sherwood District Council is at present falling short in its pitch provision for the Gypsy and Traveller community, and has only identified a small number of sites, numbers which do not meet the government’s requirement for such communities.

The six families living at the site claim the land has never flooded and say they have tried to cooperate with the council to be able to stay on the land, which they own, for the long-term.

Residents in the area of the site are very supportive of the Gypsies and want them to be able to stay too.

Some of the children who live on the site.
Some of the children who live on the site.

Jane Dimbleby has previously signed a petition in support of the Gypsy community, and told the Advertiser the families should be able to live how they choose.

“These families have lived there for years and have caused no issues or problems,” she said. “They just want to live on their own land without disturbance.

“They work hard, [one of the dads] Stuart is always busy and fitted many carpets for local residents, including my own.

“The area is immaculate and I have often seen a member of the family up through the underpath picking up litter.

The site is extremely well-kempt.
The site is extremely well-kempt.

“Everyone should be given the choice of how they live and I feel lots of obstacles are being put in their way, which is very unfair. They don’t want to make enemies or even isolate themselves, just to be able to live and bring up their children as we all do.

“Let people live as they choose. I feel there are far too many rules and policies nowadays and people forget the importance of just living.”

The Mount Church of England Primary School — where some of the Traveller children attend — has also spoken in favour of their case.

The school said a teacher attended one of the High Court hearings in support of the family staying where they are, and added the Gypsy children at the school were good attendees.

The Gypsy families are happy where they are and say they should be able to live on their own land.
The Gypsy families are happy where they are and say they should be able to live on their own land.

Council leader David Lloyd said: “In this particular instance, I would like to reiterate again and assure residents of this site that we will not be enforcing the requirements of the [planning inspectorate] notice until such a time as we have concluded the proposed work on meeting our future Gypsy and Traveller needs.

“And, therefore, no one will be made homeless in the interim.

“The district council has obligations to ensure that there is enough housing for all sections of the community.”



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