Suffolk: Consultation over short-stay traveller sites is abandoned after huge opposition just days after it was announced

Travellers set up camp in Langer Park, Felixstowe, in June this year Travellers set up camp in Langer Park, Felixstowe, in June this year

Thursday, August 28, 2014
9:00 AM

Consultation over controversial gypsy and travellers’ stopping sites in Suffolk was suddenly abandoned yesterday after council chiefs were deluged with protests.

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Officials said in addition to the public feedback, they had received several offers of land from landowners for sites and also many other suggestions of potential temporary sites, all of which need to be fully assessed.

MPs, councillors and residents had objected to the sites put forward jointly by county and district councils and police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore.

The most controversial was at Felixstowe, where a site was suggested on a small council-owned meadow opposite homes in Treetops. Residents launched a petition, the town council called an extraordinary meeting – now cancelled – and insisted consultation sessions were held in the town.

A spokesman for the eight councils and Mr Passmore said the aim had been to select three sites in areas where unauthorised encampments usually occur.

However, following a number of landowners coming forward with other potential sites and early feedback from councillors and residents, Suffolk’s council and policing leaders had decided to halt the current process to enable it to be reconsidered.

It means the seven sites previously identified have therefore been dropped and a fresh list of sites will be worked on prior to public consultation.

The potential sites were:

Lay-by off A143 opposite Shepherds Lane, Wortham

Land between Candlet Road and Treetops, Felixstowe

Lay-by on Felixstowe Road, Levington, south of junction with Bridge Road

Former Little Chef site, Kentford, between Bury Road and A14

Former Chippings Dump, Upthorpe Road, Stanton

Former Little Chef site, off A14 by the Orwell Bridge

And the A140 junction with Castleton Way, Eye.

Suffolk County Council’s leader Mark Bee, speaking for everyone involved in the project, said: “The case for creating short stay stopping sites has been well established and we’ve found a great deal of general support for what we, as public sector bodies in Suffolk, are trying to do to help solve the issue of unauthorised encampments in Suffolk.

“But what’s more important is making sure we have the right sites to consult the public on.

“A number of alternative proposals have been put forward and, in the interest of making the best decisions for Suffolk, they need to be looked at. That is why we’ve taken the early decision to stop the current consultation today and develop a fresh approach.

“This is absolutely the right thing to do to ensure we make the right decisions for Suffolk. We’re committed to working with all partners and communities to take this issue forward.”

All councillor briefings, public drop-in sessions and public meetings organised by Suffolk County Council to support the consultation have been cancelled.

No timescales have been set for when a new consultation will be launched.

16 comments

  • The council need to put up a small sign at the entrance to all of our parks and open spaces advising that any vehicles parked without consent will face receiving a fixed penalty notice of £70 per day. Once the notice is issued, if it is not paid within 14 days then they can go for enforcement by clamping the vehicles until paid. That should help to cover the cost's of clearing up the mess and additional policing.

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    Ashley Barrett

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

  • In theory they would be charged rent. If they pay or not is something else. To move them no from an unauthorised encampment requires a legal process which is not immediate and takes a week or so. Most of the time they move on before the full process is completed.

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    glen t

    Friday, August 29, 2014

  • Nobody wants these dirty thief's on their doorstep. As and when they break the law the authorities should prosecute them in the same way that they deal with normal people. Do not reward them with a free pitch to dump their rubbish and escape the law. Look at their vehicles and vans……..they are not poor by any means.

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    Basin Digger

    Friday, August 29, 2014

  • Great let's have them all in Whitehouse then! What about the Northern Fringe as a suggestion.

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    Tolly

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • Its the Park and Ride site near Asda that is vacant. That would actucally be a good location- its close to the a 14, and there is another caravan site on whitehouse, I thiink just before the south bound slip road.

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    Sentinel Red

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • As an indication of good faith and sincerity, when the next consultation comes up, would it not be a good idea for Mark Bee, Tim Passmore and Ray Herring to each nominate a site as close as possible to where they live?

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    Grumpy Git

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • Zaax. They will not use them, even if the proprietors would let them in, as they would have to pay. At the moment, they just park up and a skip suddenly appears free of charge, with the invitation to put their rubbish in that - if only they did.

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    The original Victor Meldrew

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • There are plenty of places where caravans (and tents) can be pitched in Suffolk even a few in the Felixstowe area, why can't they use these?

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    zaax

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • or Bury road Prizeguy !

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    Poppys Dad

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • @Lady Gaga, the Park and Ride at Martlesham is far from disused, perhaps you are confused and mean the one at Copdock?

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    Prizeguy

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • A lot of them have million pound homes in a deserted town in Ireland. If they want over night stops, book in to a hotel like we have to do. Who would man these sights and who would foot the bill for the mess left behind?

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    Tractorboy49

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • It was blindingly obvious to everyone with a modicum of common sense - except Mark Bee, Tim Passmore and Ray Herring - that the sites nominated were totally unsuitable. Note that Mark Bee, speaking on behalf of everyone involved,has not uttered a single word of apology. That surely speaks volumes in itself.

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    Grumpy Git

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • If we do have to have them, a more suitable place would be the disused part and ride area at Martlesham. Already tarmac'd - so easy for parking caravans, not near a residential area, convenient access to main arterial roads (which is apparently an important factor), and Police Headquarters close by to keep an eye on them. But surely, if places like Felixstowe can't afford a fully manned Police or Fire Station, have street lighting on, or even to cut the grass in the parks, these issues need addressing before we start spending money providing for Travellers who contribute absolutely nothing.

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    Lady GaGa

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • Cowering to those that flout the law and cause issues everywhere they stop , they do not have to travel around the country , its not as if they are selling pegs and heather to get by is it . Just look at their encampments and you will see new cars and caravans , plenty to put a deposit on a house . We do not want them in Suffolk and thats that . But then look what happened in Rotherham when public bodies buckle in the name of Political Correctness !

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    Poppys Dad

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • I have no problem with stopping sites being built, as long as they are chargeable to those that use them. Nobody should expect to live anywhere for free.

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    Sudders

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • Great news so far, but why stop here. Make plans to spend money on making sure there are NO unauthorised encampments rather than spending our cash on supplying place for them. Obviously land owners will supply land as they see CASH but we don't want money spent giving travellers FREE stopping. Move them on, make Suffolk a No Stop Zone and free of travellers causing unwanted issues and potential crime.

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    newsaddict

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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