Travellers ‘will not fancy’ new £1m site

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TRAVELLERS will be unwilling to move on to the new £1m Holbeach site, according to some councillors.

The claim came during talks on the huge overspend on the project.

At a meeting of South Holland District Council’s Performance Monitoring Panel on Wednesday, chairman Coun Doug Best said he thinks it’s unlikely that the travellers living at Cranmore Lane, who will be expected to move onto the new site, will do so without a fight.

Coun Rodney Grocock agreed saying he thinks the travellers will see the site as “corporate” and they won’t want to live there.

He said: “I believe we can never tell travellers where to go and what to do.

“In respect of the site at Holbeach, it looks lovely but I can’t see many people moving in there because it’s too corporate.

“I know we are trying to do the best for them but they won’t see it like that.”

Coun Chris Brewis agreed, saying it’s too “establishment”.

He added: “I think we will have an enormous job getting them to go on it.”

As revealed in last week’s Lincolnshire Free Press, Lincolnshire County Council wanted £400,000 for the land, while the district valuer says it’s only worth £40,000.

Coun Brewis branded both figures “ridiculous”.

Coun Best said the £1m quoted for the cost of the site includes the price of the land at £40,000.

He added: “There are no figures in the overspend to cover the costs of the district valuer, for moving the travellers or for the clearance and security of the Cranmore Lane site.

“If we have to force the travellers off using bulldozers, it will cost £100,000 at least.

“If we have to spend that the budget for all three sites will have gone on one.”

Coun Bryan Alcock said he couldn’t understand why the district council had begun work on a site they didn’t own.

He said: “If you were in the private sector, would you put a shovel in a piece of land you didn’t own? Or worse, borrow money on it?

“I can’t see why we ever started work on that basis.”