Firm 'no' to gypsy site
A SITE in Exmouth earmarked as a possible camp for gypsies and travellers has been struck off after being declared 'totally unsuitable and inappropriate' by the owners.
A SITE in Exmouth earmarked as a possible camp for gypsies and travellers has been struck off after being declared 'totally unsuitable and inappropriate' by the owners.East Devon District Council (EDDC) last month identified a field owned by Clinton Devon Estates, near Exmouth's recycling centre, in Salterton Road, as a site which would be suitable for a new gypsy camp.But this week Clinton Devon Estates (CDE) demanded the site be omitted from any future documents identifying camps. CDE said it was not prepared to enter into any negotiations over the land becoming a gypsy site.Estates director John Varley said: "We own the land and we would be concerned to see a gypsy site there. "I can confirm we have formally written to EDDC telling them that we would not be prepared to sell or lease the land for that particular use." Mr Varley also raised concerns over Clinton Devon Estate-owned Harpford Woods, near Tipton St John, which backed onto Woods Farm recycling centre - also proposed as a suitable site.He said a gypsy site within the commercial woodland would threaten the nature conservation area.Mr Varley said: "In due course, we will be writing to the district council about the site and, if any readers have equal concerns, we would ask them to write to the council as well."Four sites - including ones at Honiton and Sidmouth - were put forward by EDDC as a suitable base for travellers and gypsies.EDDC said gypsy and traveller site provision in East Devon was an ongoing consultation exercise.The council said nine extra pitches must be identified before 2011 - to join the existing 13 privately-owned pitches.Owners would not be pressured to sell their land, but anyone agreeing would receive cash from a government pot earmarked for gypsy sites.