Travellers' site plans put on hold

PUBLISHED: 14:36 21 December 2006 | UPDATED: 19:53 01 June 2010

David Wilkinson contemplates the field earmarked as a gypsy site, a move he fears could render his home worthless

David Wilkinson contemplates the field earmarked as a gypsy site, a move he fears could render his home worthless

BUSINESSMAN David Wilkinson could finally look forward to a happy Christmas last night after winning the first round of his battle to stop a gypsy travellers site being opened next to his home. Following a frenetic week in which Long Sutton and Sutton Br

BUSINESSMAN David Wilkinson could finally look forward to a happy Christmas last night after winning the first round of his battle to stop a gypsy travellers' site being opened next to his home.

Following a frenetic week in which Long Sutton and Sutton Bridge residents had expressed bewilderment and amazement over the proposals, South Holland District Council stepped back from buying the land needed for the controversial site.

The decision to pull the plans for three new sites, including one in Long Sutton and another in Bridge Road, Sutton Bridge, came after councillors called for a fresh look at why these areas had been chosen in the first place.

"One senior councillor even said he would not agree for the council to buy the land if there was no planning permission," said Mr Wilkinson. "He said the council was not in the business of farming and that's what would happen if they bought the sites and then found they could not get planning permission."

But both South Holland and Fenland District Councils are in the same boat, needing to find new sites to meet Government targets.

Mr Wilkinson, of Wisbech Road, Long Sutton, said: "The site would come within one metre of my home.

"I have been on sites in Peterborough and living next to sites is a living hell. It's not being lavish, it is a fact. I have spent the last 14 years developing my house and the council putting the travellers' site next to it makes it worthless."

South Holland Council leader, Councillor Gary Porter, said the council had been forced to find suitable land so close to homes, because of Government policy.

He said: "They have to be within two kilometres of a settlement and in a sustainable location. You cannot put them in the middle of nowhere.

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