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Home   Gravesend   News   Article

Gypsy family John and Ann Vine allowed to stay in Chalk Road, Higham

26 January 2014
by Thom Morris
The gypsy site in Higham. Picture Google Street View

The gypsy site in Higham. Picture: Google Street View

This was renewed by the council in 2011.

The children attend schools including Northfleet School for Girls and Higham Primary School.

But at the recent meeting they asked for assurances they wouldn't be moved on.

Mrs Vine said the family had spent thousands of pounds on clearing the site - once a rat-infested dumping ground, and had landscaped the area which includes planting, a driveway and fences around the homes.

Gravesham council leader Cllr John Burden

Gravesham council leader Cllr John Burden

Neighbour Barbara Cousins said the site had been significantly improved and made tidier, and asked the council to grant permanent permission.

Gravesham council leader Cllr John Burden (Lab) said it was “refreshing” to hear such views about gypsies.

Higham Parish Council councillor John Grey was “fearful a precedent could be set” and said the council’s main concern was the “protection of the greenbelt”.

Cllr Burden said he could not think of another example of neighbours supporting a planning application for a gypsy site in all his years on planning committee meetings.

He told Cllr Grey: “I’m minded to ignore everything you’ve said and approve the application.”

Permanent planning approval was granted unanimously.

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