Gypsy family win permission to stay in their Walberton home

A gypsy family can stay in their Walberton home.

Selia and Peter Evans received planning permission to permanently site their mobile home on Dragonfly Paddock on Eastergate Lane.

The approval by Arun District Council also covers a proposed shed to replace two metal storage containers, an existing timber shed, a Wendy house and a skateboard ramp.

The permission only applies to the couple and their dependent children and adult relatives. The site must revert to farmland when they leave.

This condition, one of eight, was imposed by the council’s development control committee members last week to ensure the one-acre plot did not become a perpetual gypsy and traveller site.

Mr Evans told the committee: “We have worked with the officers on this application to make sure it meets the rules.”

Mrs Evans said: “To be refused permission, would have a devastating effect on both our children, not only to their home but also to their sense of security.”

Walberton Parish Council had asked for the permission to be linked to Mr and Mrs Evans.

The couple’s proposal generated 40 letters of objection. These claimed it would lead to a loss of green space, the applicants were unconnected to forestry and farming as they should be in line with Arun’s planning policy, the scheme would adversely affect a rural area without footpaths and street lights and lead to the use of a dangerous access.

But 15 letters of support were also received by the council. Arun planning officer Juan Baeza said: “The scheme is not considered to have an adverse impact on the locality.”

A new access with sight lines in line with highway safety rules would be created, he said.

Committee vice chairman Cllr Jean Goad (Barnham) said: “The permission, if it is granted, should be for the benefit of the applicant only.”