Gypsies 'could be forced onto streets'

A group of Romany Gypsies could be forced onto the streets if they are not permitted to live in caravans at their parents' home it was claimed at an appeal hearing yesterday.

The site at Woodview, Leys Lane, Attleborough, belongs to Adam and Abronica Jones who were given permission to build a bungalow on the land.

Some of the couple's adult children are now living in caravans in the grounds with their families, without planning consent. An application to regularise the situation, retain four static caravans, and bring in two more to replace existing touring caravans was rejected by Breckland Council in February last year, and Mrs Jones lodged an appeal.

The site is outside the main settlement area and Viv Bebbington, senior development control officer, said the council accepted Mr and Mrs Jones met the criteria that enables an exception to planning policy, as they had led a travelling lifestyle. "The council's view is that not all the people living on the site fall within the specification of Gypsy. They need to justify the need for the exception to be made," she explained. However, the Jones's daughter Charmaine told the hearing they had travelled across the country and might be away from home for three or four months at a time.

Breckland Council has a shortage of Gypsy and Traveller sites, and resident Gary Hamer, who owns land next to Mr and Mrs Jones, said he was considering developing his property for the purpose. "If this application is successful then my plan, after speaking to my solicitor, is to go to the council to open up the whole woods as a transit site. We have worked out there should be enough to get 75 plots on that site."

Planning inspector Dennis Bradley, who conducted the hearing, expects to announce his decision in about a month.

Editorial Comment:

And where are all the big mouths now, such as Puxon, et al, who are very quick on the ball when it comes to Irish Travellers and when they want them to be seen as “ethnic Gypsies” - God forbid – but when it comes to bona fide Romanichals who are settled in one place proper and who just wish their grownup offspring to remain with them in the same place they can nowhere to be found. Well, neither were they anywhere around when Susie King needed help in Leatherhead. Only good the local Gohjas wanted her and the chavies to atch where they are.

Can we see the pattern now, everyone... a quote from the council man... The council's view is that not all the people living on the site fall within the specification of Gypsy... that means that this authority has decided that if you are a Rom and settled you are NO LONGER an ethnic Gypsy and therefore no longer have recourse to the rights. Dordi!

Michael Smith (Veshengro), January 2008