Displaced families' urgent appeal

PUBLISHED: 11:11 16 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:44 15 June 2010

IS there a site anywhere in or near Honiton that could provide six families, whose members are travelling show people, with a permanent home? That was a question put to town councillors last week. A member of The Showman's Guild has written to the council

IS there a site anywhere in or near Honiton that could provide six families, whose members are travelling show people, with a permanent home?That was a question put to town councillors last week.A member of The Showman's Guild has written to the council appealing for help to find a five to seven-acre site that could be divided into 10 plots.Six families are being displaced by development after a trouble-free six-year stay on a council depot site in Kenford.They have told Honiton Town Council that they are seeking a level site, with convenient and safe access to the highway network. The site would ideally be close to local amenities.Councillors attending a planning committee meeting heard the show people travel around the country during the summer, but stay in one place through the winter. As well as residential plots, the site would provide space for equipment storage and testing.Councillor Michael Teare, chairman of the council's planning committee, said: "If anybody does know of any site, please tell the town clerk."He pointed out a similar site, close to Pinhoe, on the outskirts of Exeter, had never been a cause of concern.Former mayor Councillor Sally Casson said: "There is just nowhere here."We are bursting at the seams as it is."Councillor Liz Tirard, vice chairman of the planning committee, urged councillors to think very seriously about the families' plight and to help them look for a site."The Showman's Guild is very well recognised," she added.Councillors suggested the Herald highlight the urgent need for a new site, in the hope that a landowner would come forward.The committee is to discuss the issue again at its next meeting.The Showman's Guild represents families who, through several generations, have devoted their lives to entertaining the public.Some belong to fair families, while others are involved in circus acts and associated forms of travelling entertainment.Anybody able to assist the families is urged to contact town clerk Lyn Hargood on (01404) 42957.

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