Page last updated at 08:19 GMT, Friday, 26 June 2009 09:19 UK

Travellers' site plans approved

Protestor with placard
Campaigners have concerns about traffic and wildlife

Controversial plans to build a 10-pitch travellers' site on disused council land in Plymouth have been approved.

Residents claim they were not properly consulted about proposals for the site in Military Road, Efford Warren, and plan to appeal against the decision.

However, Plymouth City Council said it is legally obliged to provide a site for travellers and gypsies.

It has to find a total of 50 pitches for travellers and gypsies in the city and currently only has one site.

Council petition

The council has received more than 200 letters of objection about the Military Road site and a 1,000-signature petition against the plans.

The site, which was used by travellers in the 1970s, is on the edge of a housing estate next to the Efford Marsh nature reserve and the A38.

Efford Warren site
The site on Military Road was used by travellers in the 1970s

The council's planning committee backed the plans at a meeting on Thursday as dozens of people protested outside, holding banners saying "No To Efford Warren Gypsy Travellers Site".

In addition to claiming they were not properly consulted about the plans, demonstrators said they were also concerned about the increase in traffic and the impact on local wildlife that a travellers' site would bring.

Phil Brown, from the Thames Gardens Residents' Association, has campaigned against the move and said the land was not fit to be used like this.

"The site itself is not suitable," he said.

"We've got a dangerous bend which they don't show properly on the chart there, increase in heavy vehicles up into the lane and the children have got no access to the school."

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