Danger to newts forces gypsy family to leave West Ashling

A GYPSY family have been forced to move from their home in West Ashling because their presence could affect a protected species of newt.

Numbers of the great crested newt are currently living at Pond Farm in Newells Lane, where gyspy Cornelius Sullivan applied to keep his mobile home for three years.

This week he lost his planning appeal after a public inquiry because of the impact it could having on the newts, the surrounding area, and because of the insufficient evidence to show he is defined as a gyspy in planning policy.

Inspector at the inquiry Christopher Anstey said despite the impact on Mr Sullivan and his family, it would be in the best interest of the area which is a designated Site of Nature Conservation Importance.

“Dismissal of the appeal may mean that Mr Sullivan and his family will have to vacate the site without any alternative accommodation being readily available,” he said.

“This would represent a substantial interference with their home and family life.

“However the harm caused by the development, in terms of its effect upon the economic well-being of the country, which includes the preservation of the environment, would be unacceptable even for a temporary period of three years.”

Mr Sullivan originally applied to keep the mobile home at the site for three years last August, and was refused in October.

The inquiry took place over three days in April.

Mr Anstey added: “Insufficient information has been submitted to determine the impact of the development on the great crested newt.

“Consequently potential harm to this protected species during temporary occupation of the appeal site and the associated land cannot be ruled out.

“As a result the scheme is in conflict with national and local planning policies.”

Mr Anstey also said the mobile home ‘detracts from the rural character and appearance of the local area’.