Oathie Sykes: Gypsy family’s plan to create home near 14th century castle in Yorkshire causes outcry


Dozens of locals in the Sheriff Hutton area have called on Ryedale District Council to reject a proposal for a gypsy site, comprising eight caravans, an amenity building and a processing plant on Cornborough Road, near Sheriff Hutton’s 14th century castle.

Oathie Sykes’ development application seeks permission to develop three hectares of agricultural land currently being converted into a dog breeding centre, for which the authority gave permission in 2019.

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Planning documents say Mr Sykes’ family, including his wife, three children and their families, had found life at the council’s Tara Park site in Malton ‘intolerable’ due to anti-social behavior by nearby residents .

Sheriff Hutton’s Castle

He says: “There is apparently no control over fly tipping, raves, loud music, rat infestation and intolerable mixed tenants with threats of violence and complete disregard for Covid-19 regulations. “

“Therefore, there was a desperate need to find somewhere else to live.”

The documents say that Tara Park is the only permitted site for gypsies or travelers in the Ryedale district and that there were ‘no adequate family sites available in the district’, the family had no other choice but to move to the Cornborough Road site.

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The newspapers add: ‘The family are well known to Ryedale District Council due to the families’ difficulty finding a place to settle. The families have a total of some 11 children, all of whom need health care and school stability.

While a couple living opposite the proposed site welcomed the plan, dozens of locals opposed it, with some saying a gypsy site in the village would “totally ruin the rural peace” in an unspoiled area.

In its objection, Hutton Sheriff’s Parish Council pointed out that the site would be visible for miles around and that a previous application for domestic use of the site had been refused as it interfered with views, particularly from the castle .

Residents said they felt the Malton and York tourist spots had excellent facilities and that ‘moving the problem to a more isolated area is not the solution’.

One opponent said: ‘The fabulously calm surrounding countryside of Rydale should not be compromised by any part of the plans described. Granting permission to any part of this irrational planning request will negatively impact the lives of those who live in the neighboring property – who maintain their grounds to perfection, in keeping with the natural beauty that surrounds them.

Other locals said they thought the village school and medical practice would struggle to cope, that local roads were “already creaking” and that “the travellers’ site would increase crime and devalue the house prices in this area.

One resident wrote: ‘There is national news going on about the impact a local traveler site is having on personal safety and the valuables we’ve all worked so hard for. I feel happy every day knowing that I live in such a safe environment and it gets us in trouble. Please look for another site further from here.


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