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Site bid to be decided

PUBLISHED: 17:08 10 December 2008 | UPDATED: 10:20 23 August 2010

A CONTROVERSIAL planning application for a permanent eight pitch traveller site was due to go before council regulators as the Reporter went to press. Gravesham Borough Council s application for the site at Brookvale, Springhead Road, Northfleet was due

A CONTROVERSIAL planning application for a permanent eight pitch traveller site was due to go before council regulators as the Reporter went to press.

Gravesham Borough Council's application for the site at Brookvale, Springhead Road, Northfleet was due to be decided at the council's Regulatory Board meeting on Wednesday night. In September we revealed the council wanted to move eight families from their site in Whitepost Lane, Cobham, where they have been based for the last three years.

Residents at the site were given until October to move or face legal action and eviction. But the application for the site in Springhead Road was then put on hold when families submitted an application to the council to stay in Cobham permanently.

Mike Snelling, leader of Gravesham Borough Council, said: "If our application is accepted by the Regulatory Board, it does not mean we will get the traveller families moving in there tomorrow, if at all.

"We have offered them the site, but they have submitted an application to stay where they are permanently, which gives some indication as to whether they will accept our offer."

The application would also mean the Royal Naval Association would be forced to move from their base in Springhead Road, as well as the football changing rooms for Springhead Park. Mr Snelling said he had visited club bosses to discuss the plans.

He added: "The reason why we are submitting our application is that we have been advised legally that if our offer is to be effective, we must get permission for a travellers' site on the land."

Gravesham Borough Council has to comply with government imposed targets to find 15 pitches to house gypsies and travellers across the borough by 2010. These sites must provide facilities for rubbish collection, running water, and electricity.

ed.riley@archant.co.uk

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