Bailey Funfairs Faces Obstacles in Search for New Location in Sutton-at-Hone

Bailey Funfairs Faces Obstacles in Search for New Location in Sutton-at-Hone

Bailey Funfairs Set to Relocate to New Location Near M25 in Sutton-at-Hone

The owners of Bailey Funfairs, a family of Show People, have announced their plans to move onto a new site near the M25 at Sutton-at-Hone. The decision comes as the family has struggled to find suitable space on the county’s already “overcrowded” Traveller sites.

John Bailey, the 64-year-old patriarch of the family, has applied for planning permission to change the use of land on the corner of Clement Street and Church Road to create permanent quarters for his family to pitch on. The land, which the family has owned for three years, currently accommodates about 25 adults and 12 children and has been used as paddocks.

In his application, John proposed creating seven permanent plots for travelling Show People, complete with storage, washing and testing areas for equipment, as well as access and landscaping. However, the plans were rejected by the Dartford council in March due to concerns that it would be an inappropriate development of the metropolitan green belt.

Speaking to local media, John stated, “We are not building blocks of flats, we just want to park up, live quietly and fit in with people. We have got to do whatever it takes as we need somewhere to live. We are a family and we do not want to break the rules.”

He went on to explain that the family has been unable to find space on existing Traveller sites in Kent, despite their long history of running funfairs in the area for over 100 years. Unlike other travelling groups, the Baileys require a larger space to store their equipment, such as funfair rides and kiosks.

Despite the rejection of their planning application, the family has appealed the decision and an inquiry is scheduled for May. They argue that there is a lack of alternative land for Show People in the county and that their application meets the criteria for “very special circumstances”.

The Baileys have received support from their community, with 14 letters submitted in favor of their application, citing their charitable work and positive contributions to the area. However, there have also been six objections from neighboring residents, who are concerned about increased traffic, use of the green belt, and noise pollution.

For now, the Bailey Funfairs remain on their land in Sutton-at-Hone, awaiting the outcome of their appeal. It remains to be seen if they will be able to find a permanent home for their family and business in the future.

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