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Watton travellers site bid pulled

PUBLISHED: 10:01 02 July 2008 | UPDATED: 10:56 08 July 2010

A Watton town councillor has withdrawn an application for the development of a travellers' site in town after a deluge of complaints from residents.

Roy Rudling applied for the development of a 6.

A Watton town councillor has withdrawn an application for the development of a travellers' site in town after a deluge of complaints from residents.

Roy Rudling applied for the development of a 6.4 hectare site north of Church Lane for a preferred use of residential and affordable housing and an alternative use as a gypsy and traveller site in April.

Last year Breckland Council published the Local Development Framework (LDF), a blueprint for the district's future development which requires the provision of more sustainable sites for the travelling community on the A11 corridor until 2011.

However, the LDF does not make any stipulations for the development or provision of such a site in Watton.

The application raised concerns with elderly residents at neighbouring Redhill Park who were starting to compile a petition against the proposals.

“There are 120 residents in 70 homes living at Redhill Park,” said Chris Mayhew from Omar Homes which owns and runs the estate. “They are all aged over 50 and a lot of them are over 65. When they heard about the application they watched its progress, and began to put together a petition against it. This has now been withdrawn.

“Of course we were very concerned for the safety and welfare of our residents and we want them to be happy and have a good quality of life. There is no longer an issue with the application now, because we understand it has been withdrawn.”

A local resident who did not wish to be named said people in Watton had been fearful at the prospect of the new facility.

“People were absolutely furious when they heard about the application. There were lots and lots of complaints,” the resident said.

Following the complaints, Mr Rudling withdrew the application last week.

A spokesman for Breckland Council said: “We wish to point out that Breckland Council has no proposal to develop or promote a gypsy site in Watton; however, all proposals which are put forward for consideration under the LDF process will be considered on their merits by the council and an inspector appointed by the Secretary of State.”

Mr Rudling was not available for comment.

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