New traveller site

PUBLISHED: 10:08 14 March 2008 | UPDATED: 08:23 02 June 2010

GOVERNMENT cash is to be used to help Fenland Council buy land owned by a traveller and first suggested by him as a new transit camp for nine families. Almost half a million pounds has been secured for Fenland District Council s plans for the new site at

GOVERNMENT cash is to be used to help Fenland Council buy land owned by a traveller and first suggested by him as a new transit camp for nine families.

Almost half a million pounds has been secured for Fenland District Council's plans for the new site at Wisbech St Mary.

But the site has come under fire from the parish council whose chairman John Parrin felt there were enough sites in and around the village "both legal and illegal."

He said:" Travellers are not really travelling any more and they want to stay put with their families,

"It is Government policy to keep putting more sites in place, so news of this funding doesn't shock me.

"I just think there are other places in the area where they could put them."

The new site came about after Fenland planners received an application last year from traveller Nelson Smith for a transit site for nine caravans on Bevis Lane.

David Bailey, Fenland District Council's traveller and diversity manager said: "We sought professional advice and discovered that Mr Smith's application had a significant chance of success.

"The council wanted to make sure that the site is built to a high standard to ensure that it is managed well and make sure we can be directly involved when there are any unauthorised encampments there."

The council then applied for a gypsy and traveller site grant and this week heard their application was successful. They will receive £476,143.

Once plans are formalised Mr Smith will live on the site and control the day-to-day running of it on the council's behalf.


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