Temporary reprieve on gipsy site plans

THE initial euphoria of Byfleeters learning that plans for a gipsy site on Murrays Lane had been withdrawn, may well be short lived.

It is believed that a survey of bats and badgers in the field, commissioned by the applicant Mrs Valler, seems to have been requested by Woking Borough Council and it appears likely that the application needed to be withdrawn until the results are known. The plans might then be re-submitted.

There has been massive opposition from hundreds of residents over the proposals to turn some of what little green belt land remains in the area into a permanent gipsy site.

And it was standing room only last month as more than 700 furious residents flocked to an emergency meeting at Byfleet Village Hall last month to discuss the controversial plans to change the land from agricultural-only use into four pitches to accommodate ‘an extended Romani family’ on the site south of Murrays Lane. The application included associated works, four day rooms, hardstandings and a septic tank.

A subsequent meeting was called to accommodate some of those who could not get into the hall.

Woking MP Jonathan Lord joined Byfleet, West Byfleet and Pyrford Residents’ Association leaders, councillors and members at both meetings.

He backed the residents’ campaign and was optimistic about the plans being rejected when he said: “I think we are on to a winner. We are not allowed to build on green belt land and nor should anyone else. We are going to fight this. It is going to be refused and it is not going to happen. I don’t see how the council can come to any other decision.”

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