Grantham gypsy site is backed by planners

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A travellers’ site for a Grantham gypsy family is recommended for approval, despite widespread opposition.

George Gaskin seeks to change the use of paddock and hardstanding to a travellers’ site for two static caravans with extra screening on land he owns between 2 and 3 Harrrowby Lane, Harrowby.

A council report said his application has been referred to Tuesday’s meeting of Development Management Committee as it has “attracted significant local interest.”

The application said George Gaskin (57) and son Edward Gaskin (29) and his family are “Bona Fide Gypsies” with a nomadic lifestyle. George was born in Grantham and travelled around the UK with his parents and siblings in a bow-topped wagon. After he wed, he went his own way buying and selling second-hand vans, lorries and horses.

To educate his children, George and his wife moved onto the Travellers’ Rest site in London Road, Grantham. But the council-owned site became too big and 26 years ago, they all went on the road again.

The application said George considers Grantham his base and, as he gets older, he wants to settle on a permanent site with his son. Edward has a temporary site, but due to overcrowding, believes it unsafe for his children.

George had been seeking somewhere for his horses and bought the Harrowby site in 2015. He currently lives in Gorse Lane, Grantham, but he has to move. The application added the site would only be for George, his son and grandson and due to the gypsy lifestyle, a normal house with “solid walls to pen him in” is not an option.

However, Londonthorpe & Harrowby Without Parish Council opposed the application claiming: “this is a complete set of misepresentations.”

It claimed the site layout was different to the application, members fear extra family members arriving, noting room for extra vans.

The village had seen no new housing since 1970 and: “this is agricultural land and should remain so!”

SKDC also received 16 letters on the plan. They said a site would be out of character and visually intrusive, the plans are unclear,unauthorised business use could occur and there was already provision for a traveller site in the Southern Gateway Plan.

But recommending conditional approval, planners noted a district shortfall of 32 gypsy sites and claimed sufficient separation between the site and nearby properties.