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Traveller families seek permission for permanent site

By David Parker

Concerns have been raised that allowing a Traveller site to become permanent will create an ongoing flood risk.

Ten families have jointly applied to Newark and Sherwood District Council for permission to make the temporary site off Sandhills Sconce, Tolney Lane, permanent.

Temporary permission was granted five years ago and will run out on September 30.

Newark Town Council’s planning committee voted to object to the application, but agreed to ask the district council to find other sites for Travellers.

Town councillors were concerned that making the site permanent would increase the flood risk on land that had been designated as a flood zone by the Environment Agency.

Town council planning committee chairman Mr Tony Roberts said: “My concern about any development on Tolney Lane is that it is flood land and that by making these sites permanent they are bound to be putting hard-standing down, which compromises the floodplain even more.

“Certainly, the floodplain there has been compromised significantly by the erection of concrete walls, which delineate the site, and my inclination is to recommend a rejection of this.

“You have to be careful because you have a duty of care to the environment and to other folk.

“It is beholden of the district council to find other places for Traveller sites.”

All members of the planning committee voted in support of a motion to oppose the application, except for independent councillor Mr Laurence Goff.

Mr Goff said: “The Travelling community do know the site down there and are in their rights to live there in a peaceful way.

“Of course, they know what can happen to them if they ever have a flood.

“Until the district council decides to give them other premises I support the Travelling community to live their life the way they want to.”

The district council will decide the application.


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