Victory for council in battle over Billingshurst gypsy site

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A battle to remove gypsies and travellers from a site near Billingshurst has ended in victory for Horsham District Council.

A public inquiry was launched earlier this summer after the council issued enforcement notices on the site at Kingfisher Farm in 2016.

Now, in a new ruling, a planning inspector has supported the council’s recommendtions to close the site and return the land to agricultural use. The occupants have been given 14 months to quit.

Horsham cabinet member for planning Claire Vickers said:“As a council we do fully recognise the concerns of local residents and also the need to make provision for the Gypsy and Traveller community.

“However, the ongoing breaches of planning control at this site are not tolerable going forward.

“I am now relieved that the Inspector has recognised these concerns and appropriate action will be taken.

Council cabinet member for community Tricia Youtan added: “I am pleased that this decision has been reached after a long period of concern for local residents.

“Thanks must go to the Itchingfield Parish Council and also officers of Horsham District Council who spent a large amount of time and effort on this issue. Their hard work, determination and diligence has been justly rewarded.”