Mettle Hill travellers’ site petition to be presented to council today

MORE than 3,000 people have signed a petition opposing the reopening of a controversial travellers’ site.

The petition, against plans to reopen the Mettle Hill travellers’ site in Meldreth, will be delivered to the the leader of South Cambs District Council at the council offices, in Cambourne, today (Thursday).

The council had been due to vote on the scheme today but as the Crow reported last week, a decision has now been delayed until a special meeting in January.

Several coach-loads of people from Meldreth, and surrounding villages such as Melbourn, Shepreth, Kneesworth, and Whaddon, will accompany the petition to Cambourne to demonstrate the strength of feeling in the area. Villagers fear reopening the site will lead to an increase in crime and anti-social behaviour.

Lead petitioner Susan van de Ven said: “Over 3,000 people have signed the petition – more than twice the adult population of Meldreth. This is a phenomenal number in less than three weeks and reflects the very deep concern about the district council’s ill thought-out plans.

“Meldreth’s successfully integrated community of travelling people, including one small Romany site and two large Showmen’s sites, is a valued part of the village. This should be nurtured, not undermined.”

Cllr Steve Hawkins, chairman of Meldreth Parish Council, said: “We welcome the postponement of a full council decision on the future of Mettle Hill, and hope this will provide each and every district councillor the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the views of the travelling and settled people of Meldreth, and to realize the shortcomings of the initial plan.”

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“We don’t think reopening the closed site is the right move in the current situation and have the full support of our district and county councilors as well as our MP.”

The district council wants to reopen the Mettle Hill site as it seeks to provide 20 extra traveller pitches in the district by 2031.

The petition will continue to collect signatures at