Walsoken travellers’ site plans are rejected

General View of the land "Land South West of Flying Field Farm Wheatley Bank Walsoken Norfolk" where they are wanting to build a travellers site
General View of the land "Land South West of Flying Field Farm Wheatley Bank Walsoken Norfolk" where they are wanting to build a travellers site

A plan to turn a paddock into a travellers’ site in Walsoken has been refused by West Norfolk Council on the grounds that it would be “inappropriate”.

The planning application, which sought to gain permission for 12 mobile homes, 12 touring vans and the construction of 12 day rooms at the Wheatley Bank site, was rejected by the council last week.

In a notice of decision published by the council, they describe the proposals as having “no overriding need” and as being “unsustainable”.

They further say it would be “harmful to the rural amenity of the area” and that is lies within an area identified as being at risk of flooding.

Since the application was first submitted in June last year, a number of local residents and organisations voiced their opposition to it, as the council received 46 letters of objection, including those by Walsoken Community Association and West Walton Parish Council.

In July, Walsoken Community Association outlined suitability, lack of need and implications for highway safety as their main concerns in relation to the application.

Their letter said: “The approval of the application would dramatically increase the volume of traffic along Wheatley Bank, as it would have realistic potential for at least 24 families.”

West Walton Parish Council said there was “sufficient existing provision in the area for traveller families” and there was “strong local opposition to this proposal”.

Elizabeth Truss, MP for South West Norfolk, had been contacted by the parish council in July who wanted to bring the residents’ concerns to her attention.

Ms Truss then wrote to West Norfolk Council to urge them to “fully consider all the points raised and to note the impact on the local community”.

She said she had noticed the “high level” of correspondence from concerned residents.