Gipsy site could be scrapped

PUBLISHED: 09:50 09 December 2010

Bassingbourn villagers' earlier protest over plans for a travellers site at Spring Lane

Bassingbourn villagers' earlier protest over plans for a travellers site at Spring Lane

Archant

But a different one is to be proposed

But further proposals for a new site in the village have been submitted, making for a bittersweet conclusion to the consultation process for residents.

It has been recommended to Cllr David Bard, portfolio holder for new communities, that he should reject the site off Spring Lane, at a meeting this Tuesday (14) after the negative response from Bassingbourn residents.

At the same meeting though, he will propose a new site for five pitches alongside the A1198 in Bassingbourn, where the Sunday market is held.

Mike Reeve, vice-chairman of the Bassingbourn Action Group, which submitted a petition of 1,100 names to SCDC, said he had mixed feeling about the results.

“The fact that Spring Lane is off is good news for us and vindicates all the hard work that has been put in by the village,” he said.

“It’s bittersweet though because we have discovered, out-of-the-blue, that an alternative site has been put forward.”

Mr Reeve has confirmed that the group are “likely” to fight the second site. “The campaign always said that we would set out to fight any sites in the village.

“We will consult with the entire group but at this stage I would say there is likely to be objections. However, we are please the council has listened to Bassingbourn’s people, and the strong points we felt we had,” he said.

In August of last year, residents of the village embarked on a protest march in the area, which Mr Reeve also thinks contributed to the decision.

Cllr Bard said: “We’ve had a good level of response from the consultation process and all comments have been carefully explored as far as we can at this time.

“I will be considering the full report which incorporates the views given by people across the district at the meeting next week and am keen to provide as much clarity on the site options as I can at this stage.”

The scrapping of the initial Bassingbourn site is to go ahead despite the Government not yet completing their Gipsy and Traveller planning guidance and Localism Bill, but the strength of the protests is believed to have given weight to the decision.

Therefore, a decision on two pitches at Whaddon has yet to be made, along with 18 other sites in South Cambs.

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