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Plans for permanent campsite for members of the traveller community are approved

Plans for a permanent campsite for members of the traveller community on Romney Marsh have been given the go ahead.

The application sought permission to build five static mobile homes, a community hall and an access road on greenland off Lydd Road, in Old Romney, near The Retreat.

The land earmarked for the permanent traveller site off Lydd Road
The land earmarked for the permanent traveller site off Lydd Road

The plans were put forward by the Penfold family, who privately own the plot and have been associated with the Marsh for more than 50 years.

Work on the project has already started.

Cllr David Wimble (Ind) spoke in support of the application during Folkestone and Hythe District Council's (FHDC) virtual planning meeting, held via Zoom last week.

Cllr Wimble said the site was always "immaculate" and that he was very impressed when he visited it recently.

He praised the Penfold family, calling them a "credit to the Marsh" and said they are hard working and well known family with three businesses.

Members of the council's planning committee discussed the plans on Zoom
Members of the council's planning committee discussed the plans on Zoom

Cllr Jenny Hollingsbee (Con) also spoke in support, and described the homes as "sophisticated".

Planning documents had listed some concerns with the project which had been raised by consultees, including flooding risk, noise coming from the community hall and impact upon ecology.

Other neighbours had however raised no objection, with supporting arguments including that the site will be well kept, it meets the council's requirements and that it provides an opportunity for travellers to reside without being moved on.

Members of the planning committee unanimously voted in support of the proposal.

The land will also make up part of FHDC's permanent gypsy and traveller pitches allocation, which is necessary under the Places and Policies Local Plan.

Other sites were considered by the authority last year, during which time a consultation was held, was the land at New Romney was the only one considered "suitable for development".

Read more: All the latest news from Romney Marsh


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