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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 April, 2003, 11:25 GMT 12:25 UK
Gypsies fight to live at Tor
Traditional gypsy caravans
The family want to move traditional painted caravans onto the site
A family of Romany gypsies say they will fight for the right to live at the foot of one of the West's most well known sites.

Maggie Smith-Bendell and her family have bought an orchard at the bottom of Glastonbury Tor, where they want to park a number of traditional painted caravans.

But they have begun to prepare it for the mobile homes without planning permission.

And local residents are worried about the development so close to a historic site.

Official sites

Ms Smith-Bendell says the Tor has been home to travellers for many years - the road next to the site is known as Gypsy Lane

The family's site, at the foot of Glastonbury Tor
They have begun to prepare the site for the caravans
She said: "Glastonbury has been home to Romany gypsies for thousands of years.

"These wagons have not been there before, but others have and now these are going home."

But one local resident said: "What they have done is a blot, it is a scar on the landscape."

The local council will have the last word on the site - and if they rule against the development of the orchard, it will have to be returned to its original state.

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