A MOTHER of two says she is forced to have a Gypsy site in a field next to her family home because of the council's failings.
The site, off Lea Lane in Great Braxted, was granted permission for more caravans by the Planning Inspectorate last Monday.
After months of appeals from residents, the inspector came down on the side of the Travellers.
Annie Hopkins, who lives in Lea Lane and is the organiser of the village's Residents Against Inappropriate Development group, said she is angry about the council's lack of clear policy on traveller sites.
She said: "Unfortunately one of the main reasons this has gone through is because Maldon District Council has no strategic plan for Traveller and Gypsy sites.
"The inspector said that the main reason it was being allowed was because of the serious failure of Maldon District Council – not because the site is suitable."
The new site will include space for a travelling caravan, space for a static caravan and a utility block. It will add to the 11 permanent pitches already there.
Mrs Hopkins, who has two sons, said: "We have always co-existed peacefully with the travellers but over recent years the site has expanded quite a lot – now it has come within 10ft of our house.
"Now we have said enough is enough."
Many councils have adopted what is known as a Core Strategy, in which criteria for the location of Gypsy sites are set out to guide allocations and meet unexpected demand. Maldon District Council chose not to adopt one.
The original planning application had been opposed by the council in May 2011, but the Planning Inspectorate allowed the appeal due to the council's lack of clear policy.
"There are no sanctions against the council and the people who suffer are us," said Mrs Hopkins.
"We can't move, we can't sell our house, our children's pension fund has gone.
"I can't build a house at the bottom of my garden for my elderly father, or for my children, but a new site is allowed there. It's massively unfair."
Mrs Hopkins said she feels as though the battle with the council is never-ending, describing their representation at hearings on the matter as "lamentable".
She added: "It would have been laughable if it hadn't been so tragic."
Last year, as part of the Government's Affordable Homes Programme, £60m was made available to local councils for the provision of Gypsy pitches.
Mrs Hopkins said: "No one would take the money. If this was for sports facilities or education they would have bitten their hands off for it.
"Everybody's frightened to be called racist when really they're not. It's rotten."
Priti Patel, MP for Witham, has also attacked Maldon District Council for its lack of policy.
She said: "It's such a serious issue. I will be taking it to the Secretary of State."
"While recognising that we need to have enough site allocations for travellers, they have to come about in the rightful way, not this spurious route."
Council leader John Archer said: "The position regarding the provision of gypsy and traveller sites in the district is being reviewed through the emerging Local Development Plan framework as agreed by the council in July 2011.
"While we note the views of Mrs Hopkins, this application has followed the due process with a decision made by the secretary of state through the Planning Inspector."
One Traveller, who did not wish to be named, said: "We're outside of the village so we don't really know what others think but we're fine with it."