Permission renewed for another gypsy site in South Holland

CONTROVERSIAL plans to renew consent for a gypsy and traveller caravan site in Sutton Bridge have been approved.

In spite of opposition from parish councils and Sutton Bridge Gun Club for the “temporary stopping place” on land off Centenary Way, South Holland district councillors deemed it necessary to stop random pitching across the area.

The plan for ten pitches was submitted by the district council and originally approved in June 2009.

Sutton Bridge Parish Council raised objections to the renewal last year, with concerns about the travellers’ safety due to an increase of heavy traffic on the access road when a new incinerator was built by Peterborough company PREL.

Safety of travellers and drivers was again listed as one of the objections at South Holland District Council’s planning committee on Wednesday, along with concerns from Walpole Parish Council over policing and the need for a site when there was already one on the A151 at Holbeach.

Michael Williams, safety officer of the Clay Pigeon Association, addressed the council on behalf of the shooting club.

He said: “Our concern would be if children from the site trespassed and came within shot.”

Coun Michael Booth said: “In the three years since approval of the site we have had no problems with gypsies or travellers on the roadside.

“We have spoken about danger zones and we expect people would respect it is private land. Although I would like to know who would be responsible if dogs stayed.”

Councillors were reminded the application was for renewal of permission for a site and the length of stay of most occupants was unlikely to exceed seven days.

Chairman Coun Roger Gambba-Jones said: “It is not right there has been no problems with gypsies – I know of two or three instances around Spalding.”

This was highlighted in the district council’s Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (GTAA), which pointed to a “need for a small publicly provided transit/emergency stopping place”.