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Pledge over travellers' site

PUBLISHED: 13:36 12 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:16 07 July 2010

CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to continue their fight against controversial proposals for a new temporary site for travellers on the outskirts of Fakenham.

The action group formed to campaign against the proposal for a 10-pitch site off the Fakenham bypass spoke after the government announced a £7m grant for sites in East Anglia.

CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to continue their fight against controversial proposals for a new temporary site for travellers on the outskirts of Fakenham.

The action group formed to campaign against the proposal for a 10-pitch site off the Fakenham bypass spoke after the government announced a £7m grant for sites in East Anglia.

The Department of Communities and Local Government awarded £844,000 for the proposed Fakenham site.

Yesterday, Eric Myhill, of the action group, said it would press ahead with its campaign against the proposed site because it considered it was in the wrong place and would have a detrimental effect on the town. The group would continue to closely monitor the situation over the next few months, said Mr Myhill.

The next stage in the scheme would be to submit a formal planning application for the proposed site and to deal with highways issues including the creation of a “ghost island” to ensure a safe method of turning into the site from the main highway.

It is expected that a formal planning application could be submitted towards the end of the year. It has been stressed by Steve Hems, environmental health manager for North Norfolk District Council, that the full planning process would have to be undertaken including public consultation.

Council leaders said the windfall would “strengthen their arm” in moving on or prosecuting travellers who ignore the legal provision and set up ad hoc camps.

But there was some local unrest about possible environmental damage in sensitive areas.

Almost £7m has been doled out to the region by the Department of Communities and Local Government, with Norfolk getting more than half. The grants include:

£844,000 for a 10-pitch site beside the Fakenham bypass

£565,000 for a 10-pitch site next to the North Norfolk District Council headquarters at Cromer.

Fakenham town councillor Dennis Beare said: “I've got mixed feelings. I am not very keen on having it near Fakenham. I have made my feelings clear on that.

“Outside the main building in Cromer they can look after them. I am not sure that the one here is going to be looked after.”

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