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Hopes for Traveller site off Tolney Lane, Newark, to be permanent look set to be dashed

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Hopes for a temporary Traveller and Gypsy site in Newark to be made permanent look set to be dashed.

Newark and Sherwood District Council is set to reject plans to turn the temporary Green Park site, on Tolney Lane, into a permanent fixture.

Green Park represents the final Traveller and Gypsy site at the south-western end of Tolney Lane.

A VIEW of a site on Tolney Lane, Newark. This is not Green Park.
A VIEW of a site on Tolney Lane, Newark. This is not Green Park.

The council said the majority of the site consists of ten pitches and is within a flood zone, and that plans to make it permanent would not be advisable.

In total, Tolney Lane accommodates a large Traveller and Gypsy community providing approximately 300 pitches, according to the council.

Temporary permission for the ten pitches lasts until November 30, 2021, and the applicants wish to change the use of this part of the site to permanent.

Papers prepared for the council’s planning meeting on Tuesday, September 7, state: “When temporary permission was first granted on this site there were no available Gypsy and Traveller sites in areas at lower risk of flooding.

“To allow permanent occupation of the site at such high risk of flooding would therefore place both the occupants of the site and members of the emergency services at unnecessary risk.”

The agents for the site said: “In the six years the site has been occupied, the residents have become part and parcel of the local community and have demonstrated by their actions that they are good neighbours.

“Approving this application would resolve the accommodation needs of ten Traveller families on a previously developed Site, whilst reducing unmet need and making a meaningful contribution to the required five-year supply.”

In the past, a planning inspector deemed temporary occupancy of this site appropriate, overruling the council’s flood risk objection.

The council said the inspector’s reasoning was that a temporary five-year permission would allow the local authority to identify an alternative site of lesser flood risk to which the temporary occupants of this site could then be moved.

An alternative site of lesser flood risk has still not been identified.

A three-year extension of the site’s temporary permission is being sought if the council rejects the permanent proposal.

A decision will be made by the council’s planning committee on Tuesday, September 7.

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