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Leader is set to oppose council gypsy site plan

DEFINING SAY: MP John Hayes says the site must be suitable and must be agreeable to local residents. SG240114-159TW

DEFINING SAY: MP John Hayes says the site must be suitable and must be agreeable to local residents. SG240114-159TW

Council leader Gary Porter will oppose his own authority’s plan for a gypsy and traveller site on land at Drain Bank North between Spalding and Cowbit.

The plan sparked a 500-strong petition in Cowbit and the council planning committee – which is recommended to approve the 30-caravan site on Wednesday – has had 52 objections from the public.

Cowbit resident Gary Hudson says the site was chosen because the land was cheap and the council has just over £600,000 to provide two more gypsy sites after spending more than £1million on the first in Holbeach.

The proposed site is in Coun Porter’s Spalding St Mary’s Ward.

Coun Porter said: “I have two views. I have a strategic position on behalf of the whole district, which says it is the right idea, and I have a position as the local ward member to say ‘why am I getting so many gypsies in my patch?’.

“I am torn two ways. I am going to go and speak against it on Wednesday because people have complained about it and they have a right to be represented by me at the planning committee.”

South Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes says residents must have the “defining say” on where the site is built.

Cowbit residents claim Drain Bank North is unsuitable for reasons including a shortage of primary school places and the potential risk of otters being harmed if septic tank human waste is washed into a nearby water course.

Mr Hudson says the road is narrow with no footpath and a child nearby goes to school in a county council funded taxi because of the danger of accessing the A16.

 

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