Baylham: Young traveller family’s bid to move homes is unanimously rejected

Mid Suffolk District Council in Needham Market. Mid Suffolk District Council in Needham Market.

Friday, August 1, 2014
3:00 PM

A young traveller family will not be able to “improve their lives” after their bid to move homes was refused.

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Proposals for one static and one touring caravan as well as a utility building in Baylham, near Needham Market, were unanimously rejected.

The Mid Suffolk planning meeting heard how the static caravan would have been “60 feet” long and “21 feet” wide, providing five bedrooms. This caused councillor Stephen Wright to compare the proposal to creating a “large bungalow”, which he claimed would not be given permission.

Planning officer Ian Ward made clear to councillors the authority’s view. He said: “There’s a clear presumption against putting them (caravans) in areas where the landscape should be protected.

“The National Planning Policy Framework guidance creates a theme of sustainable development and says great care should be taken when considering rural sites when they are not close to facilities.”

Martin Last spoke on behalf of Martin Doherty, who lodged the caravan proposal. He said his client and his family were currently living on a site “west of Ipswich”.

“Mr Doherty and his young family are ordinary people who want to improve their lives, they just happen to be gypsies”, he said.

“It is not unusual to see a touring caravan parked close to someone’s home.”

The proposal attracted around 20 residents to the meeting. Fiona Ham, who said she spoke on behalf of the villagers, said: “We acknowledge the national demand for travellers’ sites but do not agree with the destruction of a key part of the village.

“This would irrevocably change this quiet piece of land forever.”

Giles Hill, landscape architect for Mr Doherty, said the site would be “shielded” 
by hedgerow and that existing views “would not change”.

But Mr Wright, district councillor for the village, fundamentally disagreed with the application.

“There is a Grade-II listed property near the site and this is a very timeless, unspoilt area; you do not realise how quiet it is up there.

“This would not fit in at all with the local area. The area is very tranquil and there’s no serious facilities in the area at all.”

7 comments

  • If they want to improve their lives, let them do what the rest of us do - buy a house rather than try to take over whatever piece of land they think they will. Me personally, I'd love a house slap bang in the middle of Christchurch park... perhaps I should squat there in my car for a few months.

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    Sarky Sage

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • Of course travellers don't get special treatment. They all pay their taxes, NI etc.. Regular contributors merely complain as we love the sound of our voices. How they get away with their lifestyle is beyond me. Perhaps we should all stop paying taxes and stick two fingers up at the government! I am sure some do-gooding socialist fool will say I am being prejudice or xenophobic.

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    Rory Breaker

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • I note these comments are posted instantly and not moderated .... so how long before most comments are removed for fear of causing upset to travellers.

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    Johnthebap

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • @Rory Breaker: "they most likely have never paid tax! and cash is the only way for them to buy (or) build a home". Surely you must be totally wrong on this. If I were not to pay tax then HMRC would be after me, hounding me into the ground. If I buy property with cash then I would expect HMRC to ask where I obtained it. So surely there cannot be one rule for 'ordinary' citizens but different rules for travellers. Surely not!

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    Johnthebap

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • This is a joke tbh... I would assume a mortgage is out of the question as they most likely have never paid tax! and cash is the only way for them to buybuild a home. Allowing this would have caused lots of longer term problems; I am glad the council shot it down. The travelers were using our council taxes to have their site cleaned and maintained at west meadow... perhaps the fact they now don't get the support of our pockets they're realising they live in a dump.

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    Rory Breaker

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • If this were a white middle class family, the application would still have been rejected and they would be sent away with the suggestion to build something more suitable for the area. The fact that the family are travellers is the only reason its in the news. There is nothing stopping them "improving their lives". If they wish to put down permanent roots buy or build, rent a house like everyone else. You don't lose your cultural identity by living in a solid built house.

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    Sentinel Red

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • A 60ft 5 bedroom static caravan is bigger than my house! I fail to see why a 'traveller' would need such a big static home, surely at the point of living in a permanent building they are no longer travellers as clearly they aren't travelling? I'm also curious as to how they would fund such a large property, if its possible for a young family to do this I'd love to know how to become traveller as I definitely couldn't afford it as a 'regular' member of society!

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    MZH

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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