Gypsy and travellers site could be built at Witchford if permission is given by East Cambridgeshire District Council

Application to East Cambs Council for proposed gypsy and travellers site on land off Poos Road, Witc

Application to East Cambs Council for proposed gypsy and travellers site on land off Poos Road, Witchford. Planners have yet to decide. Picture: AGENT - Credit: Archant

District councillor Bill Hunt says he is keeping “an open mind” on proposals for a gypsy and travellers site off Pools Road, Witchford.

Cllr Hunt said that as a local member for Stretham but also a member of the planning committee it was important “that I keep an open mind on this issue”.

He said the application for 10 pitches – each containing a mobile home and parking for two cars plus a touring caravan – is actually in Grunty Fen.

He said therefore that technically it is in the parish of Wilburton and he feels that parish councils in Stretham, Little Thetford, Witchford, Wentworth and Haddenham should all be consulted.

He said: “It is said to me that a similar application was submitted before and that it was considered as causing substantial damage to the open countryside views and also damaging to the ecology of the area.

“It is my understanding that East Cambs has enough travellers’ pitches to meet its targets and that additional ones are not required”

Cllr Hunt added: “This application is bound to attract considerable public interest.”

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The application has been made by Andrea Buckley whose agent has told East Cambridgeshire District Council that it would have “minimal landscape character and visual impacts upon its surroundings”.

She promises a new access onto Pools Road “sensitive to the rural setting of the site” and will plant 43 trees for screening.

Other measures proposed 3,420 square metres of “native woodland buffer planting” and hedgerows and drainage,

“Should the council be minded to approve the development and are satisfied with the landscape scheme, the permission could incorporate stringent conditions” says the agent.