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Last Updated: Monday, 18 October, 2004, 16:07 GMT 17:07 UK
Community fights to keep Gypsies
Henry and Paula Stanford
Henry and Paula Stanford want to turn their caravans into a museum
A local community is campaigning to save a family of Gypsies from being evicted from a piece of land.

Henry and Paula Stanford want to continue living in a converted barn in Cranbrook, Kent, and to turn several horse-drawn caravans into a museum.

But Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has refused, saying they can only use their land for agricultural purposes.

It says the barn is not an authorised conversion and the site is within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Traditional crafts

Mr and Mrs Stanford bought the site at Three Oaks Nursery and applied for planning permission retrospectively.

They want to turn the historic caravans into a museum to help locals learn more about the history of Romany Gypsies in Kent.

Henry Stanford said he believed the council was concerned that the land could be turned into a Gypsy site.

"Had we intended to have caravans on here, we would have done it from day one," he said.

The couple are well known in the area and work with local schools explaining their culture and how Gypsies live, as well as teaching traditional crafts to children.

The community's fight to stop the couple from being evicted will be heard at a public inquiry that starts on Tuesday.




SEE ALSO:
Gypsy camp damage costs 40,000
02 Sep 04  |  Somerset
A rare celebration of Roma culture
20 Aug 04  |  Politics


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