More concerns over family-run traveller site plans in Bury St Edmunds

Woodland on Rougham Hill
Woodland on Rougham Hill
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More concerns have been expressed over plans for a family-run traveller site in Bury St Edmunds.

Twenty three objections including two petitions have so far been submitted to St Edmundsbury Borough Council over the proposals for a five pitch private residential traveller site on woodland, off Rougham Hill.

Residents argue the plans go against the authority’s Vision 2031 framework for growth, have lamented the loss of community woodland and are worried about the impact on nearby neighbourhoods.

The plans have been submitted by the Delaney, Casey and Collins extended family who have been pitching up on sites around Bury for the last four years and are looking to establish a permanent base.

Among the objections was a letter and petition from a committee representing The Firs Residential Retirement Park, in Rushbrooke Lane.

Their concerns included the potential for extra traffic and noise and that ‘sites like the proposed soon become unmanaged and out of hand’.They felt the woodland ‘should be preserved, not destroyed’.

The Southgate House Residents’ Association, which also submitted a petition, said the character of the plans would ‘conflict’ with the type of development expected in the area as part of the 1,250 homes to be built under Vision 2031.

Bury Town Council objected for reasons including the loss of trees and nature conservation.

Adrian and Janet Williams, of Byfield Way, Bury, argued that with developers working to finalise a masterplan for the area, ‘it would be wrong to pre-empt their recommendations by allowing development of any sort within the envelope of land designated’.

C/Insp Kim Warner, of Suffolk Police said: “It is not envisaged the location at Rougham Hill would cause any issues from a policing prospective.”

In a previous interview with the Bury Free Press, Kevin Delaney, a spokesman for the families involved, pledged to ensure the site is well maintained.

In a planning statement, agent Michael Hargreaves said rather than being a positive amenity to the community, the woodland had an ‘unsavoury reputation, is used as a pick up place, and requires monitoring by the police.”

He added: “Experience shows that small family run gypsy and traveller sites are usually well managed, and over time are accepted within the local area.”