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Appeal launched over Gypsy site in Fordingbridge
The application for two mobile homes, new access and entrance gates, amenity block, stable block and hard standing with parking at Marl Lane was refused amid 300 objections from residents, who feared it could become a major encampment.
The appeal will go before a public inquiry in April 2014.
Felix and Miles Connors, who own the greenfield land, have been living at the site with their families since May and have now launched a second appeal against an enforcement notice from the district council, to move off the land by December 26.
At the time of going to press, just one caravan was on the land.
The Connors brothers say they want to put down roots, enabling their children to attend regular school and have access to NHS care.
However, the application sparked an unprecedented wave of objections from people claiming more than the two caravans proposed would be parked on the site if the scheme was approved.
District councillor Steve Rippon-Swaine from Ringwood said the proposal had resulted in the largest number of objections seen by the authority for several years.
Marl Lane resident Martine Browne said: “The land is for agricultural use only and should remain so. I would object to this application even if Prince Charles was making it.
“Marl Lane is a very narrow, unadopted lane with a couple of blind bends. It is well used by dog walkers, children and horse riders and cannot tolerate an increase in traffic, which would be generated by this application.”
District councillor Ann Sevier from Fordingbridge said: “It is wrong for anyone to put a caravan/mobile home in a field and say ‘I want to live here’.
“It is vital that the residents of Fordingbridge write to the planning inspector and express their objections.
“Marl Lane, with its bridleways, footpaths, fields and woods, provides quiet recreation that is so vital for the wellbeing of the town.”
A district council spokesman said: “We refused permission retrospectively for the site in Marl Lane and at the same time served an enforcement notice against the development that had taken place.
“Appeals were lodged and these will be considered jointly by an inspector at a public inquiry. We will forward all the comments received in relation to the planning application to the inspector.”
Residents who would like to comment about the appeal should contact the Planning Inspectorate at email@example.com before November 11.
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