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Public inquiry into traveller gypsy site to start

Public inquiry into traveller gypsy site to start

Justin Burns

Public inquiry into traveller gypsy site to start
Newtonside Orchard in Burfield Road

Impassioned villagers in Old Windsor face one of their biggest weeks when a hearing for a controversial travellers' site takes place.

Objecting householders, Old Windsor Parish Council and the Royal Borough will be speaking against appeals made by landowner Fred Sines, of Sines Parks.

Mr Sines applied for a change of use proposal to build a five-pitch caravan site on land next to Newtonside Orchard in Burfield Road, which was refused by borough planners last summer.

The Planning Inspectorate will hold a public inquiry at Royal Windsor Racecourse, in Maidenhead Road from tomorrow.

The inspector will also rule on an enforcement notice for change of use of the land from scrub land to the siting of caravans.

The long-running saga has been rumbling on for more than two years since Mr Sines first applied to site a travellers' site on the land.

In April 2011 incensed villagers waged a vehement campaign before he withdrew his proposal at the last minute.

Jane Dawson, chairman of Old Windsor Parish Council, said she expects many villagers to attend the inquiry as it is an important decision for the village. She said: "It is a big deal for us and it will be nice to have it resolved at last as it has been going on for a few years."

The parish council objects to plans as it says the gypsy travellers site proposed is on 'central greenbelt' land and should not be built on.

Mr Sines said it would be good to 'deal with it' and let the Government make their decision.

The inspector will submit a report to the Secretary of State for communities and local government Eric Pickles MP within seven weeks, who will give his decision four weeks after.

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