From the Northern Echo
AN ENFORCEMENT officer appalled by last year’s mass evictions from the UK’s largest travellers’ site in Essex, is inviting a Gypsy family from the region to live on his land.
The 58-year-old grandfather, from Northallerton, North Yorkshire, who wants to remain anonymous, said: “I thought it would be good to provide a Gypsy family genuinely in need with a fixed address so they can enjoy basic rights.
“I have seen the accommodation need there is for Gypsy families, who have unfairly been tarred with the same brush, and if local government doesn’t solve this issue it will end up with our grandchildren dealing with it.”
The former Thirsk School pupil said he wants to sell or rent the plot to Gypsies who could either live in their own caravan or use an existing caravan on the site.
He is due to lodge a planning application with Hambleton District Council for residential use of his one-acre smallholding a mile from Northallerton.
“It is an idyllic and secluded site and while I will miss it after having had it for 12 years, I would like to see a decent family being able to enjoy living there,” he said.
Planning consultant David Stovell, who is acting on his behalf, said: “There is a need for Gypsy sites near Northallerton to relieve the pressure on public sites which have their own management problems.”
Joseph Jones, chairman of the Gypsy Council of Great Britain, welcomed the potential new site, saying he received daily calls from families wanting a place to live.
He said: “Usually sites that come up are beside railways, under motorways or beside rubbish dumps, where no one would be expected to live.”
Any Gypsy family interested in living on the land can write to Mr Stovell, 5 Brentnall Centre, Brentnall Street, Middlesbrough, TS1 5AP or call 01642-232397.