Is it time West Norfolk Council came to a decision about 8 month old planning application for Wisbech travellers’ site?

The disused paddock at Wheatley Bank, Walsoken, that has been rejected by West Norfolk Council for a

The disused paddock at Wheatley Bank, Walsoken, that has been rejected by West Norfolk Council for a travellers' site. PHOTO: Submitted - Credit: Archant

Planners seem no nearer reaching a decision on a new travellers’ site near Wisbech despite the application having been submitted last June.

Grahame Seaton is the travellers’ agent and said he was surprised by the time being taken to come to a decision.

“I accept there have been some objections but the travellers wanting to live there have been given a terrible slagging off,” he said. “It’s not fair and people ought perhaps to take time to consider all the facts”.

The application is for Wheatley Bank, Walsoken, and includes 12 mobile homes, 12 touring caravans and the construction of 12 day rooms.

Mr Seaton said he had been told the case file had recently been handed to another planning officer at West Norfolk who was only know “reading himself” into it.

“It’s actually a reasonable site and doesn’t interfere with anyone,” said Mr Seaton who is hopeful it could be decided soon by the council’s planning committee.

As previously reported among those to raise concerns was MP Liz Truss who told West Norfolk planners she had been contacted by Walsoken Parish Council about the scheme.

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Ms Truss told the council that there was a “high level of correspondence raising concerns about this application and this is a change of use from agricultural land.

“I would urge the council to fully consider all the points raised and to note the impact on the local community, and development in rural areas, as directed in the government’s planning policy”.

A 97-year-old man is among those fighting to stop a travellers’ site being opened at Wheatley Bank, Walsoken.

Owen Green said he had lived nearby for 46 years but if the plans win approval “it will no longer be a quiet neighbourhood.”

West Walton Parish Council wants it turned down on the grounds that “there is sufficient existing provision in the area for traveller families and there is strong local opposition”.

The parish council also claims the roads which would be used to access the site are “highly unsuitable for the traffic which would be using them, including 4x4 vehicles, caravans and commercial vehicles”.

Kier Jackson said: “I have owned the land directly next to the proposed traveller’s site on Wheatley Bank for the last five years.

“In that time I have been burgled nine times, having many thousands of pounds worth of equestrian tack and rugs stolen.

“This has been proven by the police that seven of the nine times the burglaries were committed by members of the travelling community. This is why I do not wish for there to be a traveller’s site right on my doorstep.”

Peter Humphrey, another resident, said he believed the site was contaminated and was totally the wrong area and goes against the emerging local plan.

He also claimed to have seen newts locally and owls nesting close by which would be disturbed; he also questioned the need for so many travellers in one location.