RUMOURS that a man known as the King of the Gypsies had submitted a planning application to extend a St Merryn caravan site have been scotched after it emerged there had been a case of mistaken identity.
Concern was raised in the village after residents noticed that the name on the planning application to extend and improve facilities at Tregella Caravan Park tallied with that of the Romany Gypsy developer Noah Burton.
Mr Burton featured on BBC One’s One Show and has been in the public eye for setting up an illegal camp in a village near Coventry.
However, both Mr Burton and his agent have strenuously denied any connection.
“I can in fact assure you that my client is a restaurateur from Leamington Spa,” said David Bishton, the agent appointed by Mr Burton to oversee the application.
“We’re only asking to increase the number of existing caravan sites from 30 to 36 and improve the facilities already in situ. We’d also like to carry out some landscaping to improve the look of the place.
“My client has no connection whatsoever to any illegal Gypsy sites.”
Mr Burton, the applicant, who owns the Saint Bar and the Glass House Bar in Leamington Spa, said he was stunned to hear of the confusion.
“I’ve seen my namesake on TV,” said Mr Burton.
“I’ve also had phone calls from the Daily Mail, who must have made the same mistake.
“I’m just looking to make the site at Tregella nicer so it’ll be a pleasant place to come to for holidaymakers.
“I’m a restaurateur and I bought this site as a retirement project. I’d like to step away from the stress and strain of business, and running a caravan site in Cornwall is just so I can keep ticking over.
“I only want to increase the number of touring caravans that can stay by a small number. There’s no question of there being any static caravans put here.”
Mr Burton’s planning application seeks permission to increase the number of touring caravan pitches from 30 to 36.
The application also includes proposals to replace the toilet block with a new toilet and laundry building, as well as the construction of an equipment store, extension of an access track and siting of a mobile home unit to house a warden and an office.
Nine pages of objections have been posted on Cornwall Council’s online planning register since the application was submitted last September.
They cite fears that the proposals will increase traffic through the village and have a negative visual impact.
One resident who did not want to be named said the otters living in a nearby stream would be threatened if the development went ahead, but Mr Bishton denied this.
“The stream is some distance from the site and there would be no permanent impact on the area,” he said.
“This is an existing site and I would have thought this would have been a very uncontentious issue. It really is a storm in a teacup.”