Travellers’ saga finally resolved after 15 years

The new site at Drain Bank North ANL-160112-163837001
The new site at Drain Bank North ANL-160112-163837001

Travellers who have been unlawfully occupying a site in Gosberton Clough for around 15 years have finally been moved on.

The families at Broad Drove have been relocated to a new, permanent, six-acre site built by South Holland District Council that will house up to 30 caravans.

The Broad Drove site as it looks now. ANL-160112-163823001

The Broad Drove site as it looks now. ANL-160112-163823001

The new site at Drain Bank North, off the A16 near Cowbit, is next to another unauthorised one, where the small number of residents will be allowed to remain.

No families remain living at the Broad Drove site and they have been given ten days by the council to collect any remaining possessions.

The council says it will be monitoring access to the Broad Drove site throughout to ensure a smooth process.

Once the move is finalised, the site – now owned by the council – will be permanently secured and direct 
action will be taken against any further unauthorised 
access.

The plans for the new site were controversially approved by the council in May 2014, 
despite a 500-strong petition and more than 50 letters of 
objection from the public.

There are ten pitches, which will each take three caravans. The cost has been met from a Department for Communities and Local Government fund of £1.753million for three traveller sites in the area, which also paid for the site off the A151 in Holbeach.

A council spokesman said: “This move brings to a successful conclusion our ambitions to protect the long-term quality of life of our residents whilst meeting our needs to provide suitable homes for all.

“We would like to extend our gratitude to all those 
involved for working together on what has been a long and difficult process.”

No decision has yet been made regarding the land 
vacated by travellers in Gosberton Clough and the council said nearby residents will be engaged in any future plans, which will be made in the public arena.

The third element of the government cash was for the creation of a temporary stopping site at Sutton Bridge – this has not yet been built but money remains in the pot for it. The council will now look at this option and future traveller provision in the draft Local Plan next year.

• Is this a happy end to the saga? Email spaldingeditor@jpress.co.uk