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West Suffolk Council planners to consider proposal for travellers' site in Worlington

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Plans for a 12-pitch travellers' site in Worlington could help to alleviate 'homelessness and accommodation stress' for a group of Romany gipsies.

A proposal for a traveller residential area, including 12 plots with concrete pads, 12 dayroom/amenity buildings, one touring caravan pitch, a play area, open space and access have been submitted to West Suffolk Council for land opposite Pen Villa, in Isleham Road.

A design and access statement said the application was submitted by Shayne Smith on behalf of a group of 12 families, with each family owning their own plot and committed to long-term ownership before passing their pitch on to their family.

The proposed site just outside Worlington, in Isleham Road.
The proposed site just outside Worlington, in Isleham Road.

The Worlington site would also provide a home for 27 children, according to the statement.

"The group are related to each other and all of them have strong links to West Suffolk and surrounding areas of East Anglia. All are in in need of accommodation and suffer from various degrees of homelessness and accommodation stress, some of it severe," said the design and access statement.

"The site is not a speculative development. It represents a vision of a site and a community which will allow the Romany way of life to survive and flourish and to provide a good quality of life and environment for the residents.

"A strong motivation for most of the pitch owners is to be able to hand on a home to their children free of the homelessness and accommodation stress that they and their parents have lived through."

The statement adds that members of the group had been searching for a site for many years but nothing was available at a price they could afford, so they agreed to find a site to develop as a group.

A 2020 application for the site was refused on grounds including impact on the surrounding area, location, access and loss of habitat. The new proposal includes a portion of land for nature conservation which would be handed to the council for management.

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