Protest grows over controversial gypsy site at Harting

A storm of protest is growing in Harting over new plans for the controversial Three Cornered Piece site at East Harting.

Thursday, 16th March 2017, 12:06 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:09 am
Three Cornered Piece pictured in 2013 when plans for two families on the site were submitted

Gypsies James Searle and his wife want a change of use to keeping and grazing horses and as a gypsy and traveller site for one family.

An application is 2013 for two families resulted in a raft of objections and was refused. The Searles appealed to a planning inspector who allowed the plan. But the then secretary of state, Eric Pickles disagreed and overruled the inspector rejecting the appeal.

The fight then went to the High Court. Making the new application on behalf of the Searles, consultant Joseph Jones said: “Although there was no order by the High Court that would have addressed decisions made by the secretary of state that could have been faulty, it was decided it would be left up to individuals to rectify mistakes.”

He said the Searles were an established well known Romani gypsy family, who regularly travelled to work and it was important for them to have a stable place to live.

Harting Parish Council has objected saying there is no identified need for the site as there are already sufficient gypsy traveller sites across the area. More than 20 objections have been made protesting that the plan conflicts with national park policy, would create a precedent and would have a negative visual impact.

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