From the North Devon Journal
A CONTROVERSIAL piece of land which has already cost Holsworthy taxpayers £100,000 is to be sold.
Derriton Quarry, which was earmarked as Torridge's first managed Gypsy and Traveller site, will be put on the market with the planning permission still valid.
Torridge District Council, which paid around £60,000 for the former highways depot and then spent a further £40,000 making improvements to it, agreed to dispose of the land at a meeting of its community and resources committee last week.
The council said it did not know how much the land would be sold for.
It previously received an £840,000 government grant to fund the Traveller site project.
But it handed the cash back to the Homes and Communities Agency at the last minute after abandoning the plans.
It had come under strong pressure from residents over its plans to site seven Gypsy and traveller pitches at the former quarry, with many people saying it was not fit for human habitation.
Council leader Barry Parsons said: "The council decided not to proceed with the Derriton project some time ago and returned the funds to the Homes and Communities Agency at that time.
"Following that, a decision on what should be done with the land had to be made and it is proposed to now sell it.
"It will be sold with the benefit of the current planning permission, although it could be suitable for other uses."
Former mayor of Holsworthy Richard Brown was a district councillor who fought the initial plans to create a Gypsy and Traveller site.
He said: "It doesn't matter who owns this site, it is not fit for human habitation. I wouldn't kennel a dog there.
"This is a fairly cowardly decision by a council that should never have acquired the site in the first place."
The council said it was still committed to finding a managed site suitable for Gypsies and Travellers in the district.