Progress on getting new travellers’ site

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NEGOTIATIONS have been taking place between council bosses and a landowner over a potential replacement travellers’ site in Gosberton Clough.

South Holland District Council has been looking for a suitable alternative to the illegal site in Broad Drove for some time but had previously admitted the search was proving “extremely difficult”.

However, it has emerged from a council meeting that progress is now being made.

The minutes of South Holland’s performance monitoring panel, which were signed off last week, read: “In an attempt to progress the matter, the housing manager and planning manager had undertaken some community engagement and met with the local MP and the local residents’ association to discuss current and future plans in respect of the site. Subsequent meetings had been scheduled to ensure ongoing communication.

“With regard to a replacement site, negotiations were underway with a willing landowner for the provision of an alternative site with the remaining budget available for development.

“It was hoped that the viability of the proposed site could be established by mid-February. The land cost would need to be negotiated.”

The minutes add: “Communication with the travellers at the unauthorised Gosberton Clough site would commence with a view to understanding their expectations.

“The specification for any site, however, would be driven by the bounds of what was affordable, not what was requested.”

The authority says the situation remains unchanged since this meeting earlier this year.

The alternative site would be the third and final site on the cards for South Holland after a need was identified for 15 permanent pitches and ten overnight stopping places in May 2006.

A total of £638,682 remains in the budget to provide the alternative traveller site at Gosberton Clough and another in Wingland, near Sutton Bridge, after the council spent £1,075,834 on a new site off the A151 link road at Holbeach.

It’s understood the site at Sutton Bridge will only be progressed once issues at Gosberton Clough have been resolved.