No rush over next traveller site location

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COUNCIL bosses say a third traveller site is still to be chosen for South Holland – but promised to deliver all three projects to budget.

South Holland District Council was recently given the go-ahead to force the purchase of land off Centenary Way in Sutton Bridge for a temporary ten-pitch site.

The council has identified a need for three sites and has been dogged by setbacks in a bid to find a third to go alongside the Sutton Bridge site and one opposite Northons Lane in Holbeach.

The Sutton Bridge site is not yet owned by the council and will go to a District Valuer – a process that could take several months.

Corporate director Andrew Petcher said: “Although the Compulsory Purchase Order for the land has been confirmed, the land is not currently under the council’s ownership.

“It is likely that the transfer of ownership will take a few months to conclude, at which point work will commence on site.

“Work on the site is likely to take a few weeks to complete.”

Council leader Gary Porter is hopeful that the cost of buying the land will not prove too high and has once again vowed not to spill over the £1,753,092 the Government gave to fund traveller sites.

Coun Porter said: “I’m not in a rush to make the wrong decision quickly. The critical thing is that these three have to be delivered on budget.”

A site alongside the A16 at Spalding was ditched over highways concerns and a selection off The Delph in Pode Hole was also scrapped to avoid a costly battle to buy the land and because of a flood risk.

The council has confirmed that the cost of the Holbeach site is still expected to be £954,000 – well above its original estimate of £693,237, but no higher than the figure we reported last summer.

Mr Petcher said: “The construction of the Holbeach A151 site is complete, and we are just awaiting the final connection of electricity to the site in the next couple of weeks.

“The current anticipated project costs for this site are around £954,000.

“It is anticipated that the travellers currently at the Cranmore Lane site will be able to move there shortly.”