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More gypsy and traveller sites needed says West Norfolk Council

The hunt is on for nearly 100 pitches for gypsies and travellers in one Norfolk district as it looks to progress its housebuilding plan.

West Norfolk Council is seeking to meet a growing demand for the sites in the district, which it must legally provide.

It follows the government identifying that it needs to find 71 pitches in the next five years and 97 by 2040 for its local plan to be approved.

Many of the new pitches, which will be used to accommodate caravans, have been earmarked for existing sites that have space for more people to stay there including in Upwell, Outwell, Walsoken and Walton Highway.

Others have been established for a long period but as of yet have not been granted authorised permission to be used as gypsy and traveller sites.

There are only two new applications proposed for the district, including land in Walsoken and in West Dereham.

The bid to create a new site in West Dereham has been met with fierce objections from locals and villagers have since found the backing of former prime minister and Norfolk MP, Liz Truss.

A public consultation is set to be launched, which will look to identify further potential sites as well as offering an opportunity for the public to provide feedback on the pitches proposed.

The matter has been discussed at a local plan task group, during which members raised concerns that some of the pitches would lie in areas at high flood risk.

This is due to there being a limited number of sites available and further assessments and flood mitigation measures will be proposed if these sites are pursued, according to officers.

West Norfolk Council leader Terry Parish explained that it was vital to find these sites in order for the district’s local plan to be approved to meet the requirements of government legislation.

A public consultation will likely follow if approved by cabinet members next week.

Sites that the council considers are suitable to accommodate further pitches in our area:

19 – 121 Magdalen Road, Tilney St Lawrence – One pitch

Homefields, (Western Side, Goose Lane), Walpole St Andrew – One pitch

Land at The Lodge, Small Lode, Upwell – One pitch

Land at 2 Primrose Farm, Small Lode, Upwell – Five pitches

Land at Botany Bay, Upwell – One pitch

Land at Four Acres, Upwell – One pitch

Many Acres (Smithy’s Field), Small Lode, Upwell, Norfolk – Two pitches

Land at Green Acres, Upwell – Two pitches

Land at Victoria Barns, Basin Road, Outwell – One pitch

Wheatley Bank, Walsoken (South of Worzals parallel to A47) – Nine pitches

Land at Spriggs Hollow, Walsoken – Four pitches

Pitches historically used that could be authorised:

The Stables, Walpole St Andrew – One pitch

Land Next to Clydesdale, Biggs Road, Walsoken – One pitch

Homefield, Common Rd South, Walton Highway – One pitch

New sites at:

Land to the West of Country Park Travellers Site Wheatley Bank, Walsoken – One pitch

Sites for Travelling Showpeople at:

Land at Redgate Farm, Magdalen Road, Tilney St Lawrence – Two pitches

Spriggs Hollow, Walsoken.

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