Controversial Plans For Traveller Sites Near Soham Have Been Rejected By Councillors
PUBLISHED: 16:45 05 November 2009 | UPDATED: 11:08 04 May 2010
CONTROVERSIAL plans to build two traveller sites on open countryside near Soham were rejected by councillors on Wednesday. The proposals, which would have seen a 1.8 acre site at Long Dolver Drove cleared to accommodate sites for two traveller families, w
CONTROVERSIAL plans to build two traveller sites on open countryside near Soham were rejected by councillors on Wednesday.
The proposals, which would have seen a 1.8 acre site at Long Dolver Drove cleared to accommodate sites for two traveller families, were rejected by a majority of nine votes to nil, with three abstentions.
The plans were submitted by landowner Mrs S Martin and attracted widespread criticism for local residents and councillors who attended the planning meeting in numbers to highlight their concerns regarding the toxicity of the land and inadequate access to and from the site.
Simon Peveritt, who spoke against the plans to the council, said: "The access road leading to and from the site is narrow and unsuitable for the potential increase in traffic that this application would bring.
"We have had several near misses in recent months with large lorries coming past the road and we feel that more traffic using it would be dangerous.
"In recent months the site has also been used to dump large quantities of scrap items and we were informed by the council's contamination officer that as a result the site would need a thorough examination before work could take place."
The plans were also condemned by Soham Parish Council and the County Highways Authority which raised concerns about the safety of the access road to and from the site.
Government legislation requires East Cambridgeshire to make urgent provision for up to 35 traveller pitches in time for 2011 and six of those pitches were required to be built in Soham.
To date, the town has built only half of its required target but despite the pressing need for the town to fulfil its quota, councillors opted not to approve the application.
Soham Councillor James Palmer, said: "It is very clear to me that this site is not acceptable by county standards, the access to the site is very poor and I think the sensible decision would be to refuse it.