WINCHESTER City Council is waiting for a High Court judgement on whether it can evict six Gypsy families from a travelling showmen’s site near Micheldever.

The council is challenging a planning appeal decision that allowed them to remain at Carousel Park.

A hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice went ahead last Friday (Jan 25) when both sides argued their case but the judge deferred a decision.

A city council spokesman said: “The judge was not in a position to make a decision on the day and therefore will send written notification of his decision in due course. We don’t know when that will be.”

The planning battle dates back to 2003 when the city council granted planning permission for the site on the condition it was only occupied by people working in travelling shows and fairgrounds.

The idea was they would live on the Stratton woodland site during the winter. The land was divided into plots for nine families, all supposed to be members of the Travelling Showmen’s Guild.

Planners issued an enforcement notice in 2010 for an alleged breach of this condition.

But some residents claimed at the planning appeal last year they are both Gypsies and showmen who have mixed over the generations.

Carousel residents said they did other jobs such as landscaping, gardening and house painting to boost their income as fairs were no longer profitable.

But the city council said it did not want Carousel Park to become a designated Gypsy site because it was needed for travelling show people.

Planning inspector Douglas Martin quashed the notice, ruling the condition it should only be occupied by show people was never officially incorporated into the permission.

The city council sought a judicial review of this decision.

Meanwhile city council planners have come under fire from Micheldever Parish Council for the apparent blunder that allowed the travellers to stay.