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Gypsy family continue fight over land

By Alison Burkinshaw, Royston Reporter Friday 20th June 2014

A GYPSY family who boughht a greenbelt site in Royston seven years ago is continuing its fight to remain there.


The Smith family was given temporary permission by the council for four caravans to remain at the site at Warren Walk until November 2015.


Since being granted permission in 2007 they have fought for the right to live there permanently, but despite being refused repeatedly they plan to make another appeal to the government, the Chronicle has learned.


Dennis Smith said they want to stay together as a family in Royston, and be able to make the site their proper home.


He said: "This land is ours, we've bought it and we pay council tax to live here so we'll be making another appeal next year.


"The inspectors have seen no problems with the site other than the fact that it is in the greenbelt, so I don't understand, we have done everything right.


"We've got letters from neighbours saying we are friendly polite people who are no trouble to live near. mThe kids have letters from their teachers praising how well behaved and polite they are."


When asked to comment on the Smith's appeal, the department for communities and local government said they were unable to comment on planning applications and directed the Chronicle to the official letter from the secretary of state.


It states: "The secretary of state concludes that the appeal proposals are an inappropriate development in the greenbelt which would also result in a significant loss of openness.


"He considers that the totality of harm arising from the development would not be clearly outweighed by other considerations, and he considers that the very special circumstances necessary for granting permanent permission do not exist."

 

** The full story appears in the Barnsley Chronicle, dated June 20. **