Controversial traveller site plans in Bury St Edmunds earmarked for approval

Woodland, off Rougham Hill, Bury St Edmunds
Woodland, off Rougham Hill, Bury St Edmunds
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Controversial plans for a family-run traveller site in Bury St Edmunds have been earmarked for approval - despite dozens of objections.

Planning bosses are recommending that St Edmundsbury Borough councillors give the go-ahead for the five-pitch private site on woodland, off Rougham Hill.

The proposals are from the Delaney, Casey and Collins extended family, who have been pitching up on sites around Bury in recent years and are looking for a more permanent base. However, several concerns have been raised with 48 objections listed on the council’s planning website including three petitions.

Objectors including developers Hopkins Homes and Pigeon (Bury East) Ltd, Borough and County Cllr Sarah Stamp as well as Suffolk Preservation Society say the proposals conflict with the council’s Vision 2031 framework.

The land falls within the boundary of a strategic growth site for 1,250 homes and Vision 2031 states that applications for planning permission will only be determined once a masterplan for the whole site has been adopted.

Other issues raised include the loss of woodland which was planted in 1974 by West Suffolk County Council ‘for the enjoyment of future generations’.

Suffolk County Council has permission to build a waste transfer station at the household waste recycling centre on Rougham Hill but is exploring an alternative location. It warned that the borough council must be satisfied that the traveller site is ‘compatible with both the existing and permitted waste uses’.

County bosses also urged the borough to make sure the development ‘will not prejudice’ the operation of an adjacent lorry park which ‘provides important transport facilities for the strategic A14 trunk route’.

Another petition against the plans by residents John Corrie, Michael Schultz and Adrian Williams is still open.

To sign it email:

williams@byfieldway.plus.com

A report to the council’s development control committee, which will determine the application on Thursday, Feb 5, said that while the plans ‘could be considered as premature’ in advance of a masterplan being developed and adopted for the strategic growth area, ‘the urgent need for a gypsy/traveller site presented by the applicant is a material consideration which in this case warrants a departure from the adopted development plan’.

What are the proposals?

A planning statement by agent Michael Hargreaves says each of the pitches would be developed with a utility block/day room and the space for accommodating a mobile home, two touring caravans and parking for three cars or transit type vans. He said the site could be leased to the family and such an arrangement would ‘potentially give the council additional control over the management of the site’.