Ashbourne site is family’s Xmas wish

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As decision time looms for the location of a traveller site, the family who will move there have made a desperate appeal to be found a home near Ashbourne for Christmas.

Anna Gastam is one member of the family currently living at the Agricultural Business Centre in Bakewell.

She explained that all the family want is a piece of “wasteland” near Ashbourne and do not want to move anywhere else.

The reason the family is so keen to be located near Ashbourne is that one of the children receives support for learning difficulties at a facility in the town.

Anna said: “It gets cold here [at the agricultural centre] as we’re by the river and we get worried about it flooding. But we would prefer stay here until we can move near to Ashbourne.

She added: “We just want to be in Ashbourne for Christmas.”

Whether Anna’s Christmas wish will be granted or not depends on the outcome of Derbyshire Dales District Council’s Corporate Committee meeting on Thursday, December 13.

At the meeting, 12 sites will be considered by council members – five of which are in close proximity to Ashbourne.

By the end of the meeting it is hoped that a site will have been identified and planning permission can then be sought.

The district council have a legal obligation to provide a home for the family and could face penalties if they fail to do so.