Couple’s relief as travellers move on

Shipping containers block access to the former travellers' site on Cranmore Lane.
Shipping containers block access to the former travellers' site on Cranmore Lane.
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A COUPLE living next to the illegal travellers’ site in Holbeach have described the families’ move to a purpose-built camp as “a relief for everyone.”

Harvey and Fiona Robbins – the neighbours most affected by the illegal encampment in Cranmore Lane – thanked South Holland District Council for “sticking to their guns” and sorting an alternative site for the travellers.

Flashback to 2008: Fiona and Harvey Robbins, who say the move is 'a relief for everyone'.

Flashback to 2008: Fiona and Harvey Robbins, who say the move is 'a relief for everyone'.

It’s been almost seven years since gypsies took over the field next door to Mr and Mrs Robbins’ home and the couple have always maintained that they do not have issues with the travellers but that their lifestyles are incompatible.

The couple have lived in Cranmore Land for more than 25 years but say since the travellers moved in in 2004 they have not been able to enjoy their garden.

On Friday the travellers were finally able to move to the new site – called Rose View Drive and situated off the A151/A17 link road.

The site was chosen by the district council as one of three that could cater for travellers following a lengthy selection process in 2007.

But there have been several hold-ups, including objections from landowner Lincolnshire County Council, investigations into alternative sites, problems with electricity and a wrangle between the two authorities over the price of the land.

Work started on the site in December 2009 with plans for the travellers to transfer there in April 2010. However, delays pushed the completion date back to October and the site had been empty since then.

Mrs Robbins said: “It’s a relief for everyone. I’m pleased for them and I’m pleased for us.

“You have to be fair to everyone and live by the rules.

“I thank the district council for all the work they have done and for sticking to their guns.

“The council has secured the site and is keeping an eye on it to try and stop others from moving on there, but there are no guarantees in life.”