Pass the parcels?
PUBLISHED: 13:01 19 October 2007 | UPDATED: 20:10 01 June 2010
TWO parcels of land in Wisbech and others north of Tydd St Mary and at Sutton Bridge are being considered as potential gypsy traveller sites. Fenland District Council is consulting on its preferred two sites in Wisbech while neighbouring South Holland Dis
TWO parcels of land in Wisbech and others north of Tydd St Mary and at Sutton Bridge are being considered as potential gypsy traveller sites.
Fenland District Council is consulting on its preferred two sites in Wisbech while neighbouring South Holland District Council is about to consult over the other two sites.
Special meetings will take place next week in Wisbech to enable people to air their views about the proposed site in Cox's Lane. Another site is proposed for Newbridge Lane off the A47.
Next Wednesday, council officials will explain their choice of Cox's Lane at the Foyer, North Street, from 1-5pm and two days later move to the Oasis in St Michael's Avenue from 9am-1pm.
The sites at Tydd St Mary and Sutton Bridge are among eight short listed across South Holland and the council's cabinet is asking parish councils for their views.
Councillor Roger Green, leader of Wisbech Town Council, has reservations about using allotments at Cox's Lane, believing the district council should at least consider an alternative site in Mile Tree Lane.
"The district council says Cox's Lane has better maintained road ways but our members think differently," said Cllr Green.
"We also felt it pertinent to ask the question: who decided where these caravans go? And who makes the final decision - Fenland Council or the caravan dwellers themselves? The question has been asked but not answered."
Cllr Green believes Wisbech may already have its fair share of such sites and said town councillors were asking why other parts of Fenland were not being asked to take extra sites.
"March has a small site used by showmen, Chatteris has a small site but Whittlesey does not have a single site," said Cllr Green. "The impression we have is that these two sites in Wisbech have been chosen already."
Cllr Green said his town council colleagues recently met Tim Mills, Fenland Council's director of housing and development, but "whereas we thought he had come to consult, it was apparent the issue was already cut and dried".
Town councillors were supportive of the Newbridge Lane site which was being used unofficially as a travellers' site already and it was "logical" to approve it.
Mr Mills has written to Wisbech Tourism Development Group questioning their "assumptions that a travellers' site will significantly reduce the amenity of the area. The (Cox's Lane) site is relatively small and would be landscaped."
He says extra traffic would not be on a substantial scale and "as the development is on allotment land and not affecting the orchards, trees, wildflowers and birds in the area".