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Sadberge gypsy site wins planning appeal
A GYPSY family has won an appeal against a refusal by council planners to create a private site on land on the outskirts of a village.
Patrick Connor, an Irish gypsy, appealed to the planning inspectorate in June after his application for the change of use of the site on the edge of Sadberge, near Darlington, was was turned down by Darlington Borough Council on the grounds that the site is not sustainable for a young family Mr Connors appealed the decision on the grounds that there are no other sites available to him and his family in Darlington and that his children, aged five, three and two, need a settled home to be able to attend school.
Darlington Borough Council had argued that Sadberge has no access to schools, doctors, shops or bus services and was unsuitable for new development, while village residents and the parish council raised concerns about building outside the village envelope.
Allowing the appeal, planning inspector Richard Perrin said he had “some sympathy” with the argument that the site is in an unsuitable location, but added: “However, whilst the site is beyond the village envelope it is on the edge of the existing settlement and facilities elsewhere are approximately 2.5miles away.
“It seems to me that the site is not so isolated from the community, or services, such that the issue of sustainability is a significant factor weighing against the development.”
Mr Perrin also noted the lack of alternative sites for Mr Connor and his family elsewhere in Darlington, in particular the lack of provision for Irish Travellers in the town.
Mr Perrin imposed several conditions on the appeal, including that occupation of the site is restricted to gyspies and travellers, controls on the number of caravans, a ban on commercial activities and that landscaping of the site should be carried out to make it more appealing.