Council accused of wanting to use contaminated land for travellers

PUBLISHED: 13:52 25 October 2007 | UPDATED: 20:12 01 June 2010

Villagers vent their anger over the travellers site scheme at Tuesday’s public meeting.
Pictures: PETER UPTON

Villagers vent their anger over the travellers site scheme at Tuesday's public meeting. Pictures: PETER UPTON

EXCLUSIVE by TOM JACKSON A COUNCIL is being accused of wanting to use contaminated land for a gypsy traveller caravan site. The two-acre site, shortlisted by South Holland District Council, goes against the council s own recommendations. A packed public m

Villagers vent their anger over the travellers site scheme at Tuesday’s public meeting.
Pictures: PETER UPTON

EXCLUSIVE by TOM JACKSON

A COUNCIL is being accused of wanting to use contaminated land for a gypsy traveller caravan site.

The two-acre site, shortlisted by South Holland District Council, goes against the council's own recommendations.

A packed public meeting heard that the site at Tydd St Mary is a former sewage lagoon covered by just a few feet of top soil. It has been regarded as a health hazard by councillors and villagers.

Villagers vent their anger over the travellers site scheme at Tuesday’s public meeting.
Pictures: PETER UPTON

One of the district council's requirements for potential sites is that they must not be built on contaminated land.

More than 150 residents were at Tuesday's meeting in the village hall. Some had to stand outside.

Councillor David Wilkinson, who chaired the meeting, said: "It was used for raw sewage up until 1981, when it was covered by top soil, but the covering is only a few feet and it is still sinking.

"Almost everybody asked how the council could think about putting people on there, regardless of who they are, because one of the council's main criteria was that the site must not be on contaminated land."

Cllr Wilkinson said the district council offered the land to Tydd St Mary Parish Council a few years ago, adding: "Judy Spinks (parish council chairman) told the meeting they turned the offer down because they were concerned that, if it turned into allotments, it would put people's health at risk."

Villagers queued outside the doors of the village hall to make their voices heard, with many raising concerns over how much the scheme would cost and how many pitches there would be.

Cllr Wilkinson said: "We could not answer those questions because the cabinet has decided to not discuss them.

"But we achieved what we set out to do and got the views of the residents.

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