Great Finborough: Fresh fears over new CPO bid for the Forge Caravan Site

Mid Suffolk District Council in Needham Market.

Mid Suffolk District Council in Needham Market. - Credit: Archant

A COUNCIL could launch a new bid to purchase a caravan site against the owner’s wishes, just a year after a similar proposal was thrown out by the Government.

A year ago Mid Suffolk District Council lost its bid to win possession of the Forge Caravan Site in Great Finborough, near Stowmarket, after a Government ruling.

But now within a crucial planning document, the Stowmarket Area Action Plan, the authority has failed to rule out going after the site through a compulsory purchase order (CPO) for a second time. Stuart Carruthers, agent for the landowner Levi Gumble, said he would fight the council if it began legal proceedings. He said: “I take it to be a threat to the Forge.

“I would not put it past them to (issue a) CPO for the Forge.It’s an important document; it states what the council can and cannot do.

“A year later (after the failed CPO bid) Mid Suffolk say publicly they are seeking a CPO – it’s just barking mad. We have no contact with Mid Suffolk. I think people should be very worried by it.”

Mid Suffolk’s failed CPO bid cost almost £25,000.

A spokeswoman for the council said it was concentrating on filling its shortfall for new traveller places by focusing in the north of the county.

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She said the planning document confirmed the council would seek to redevelop the site.

“We will seek to safeguard the Forge against alternative uses, as it is an authorised site for 19 pitches and is in line with our commitment to provide pitches against the current shortfall in the district,” the spokeswoman added.

“Neither paragraph 6.31 nor any policy in the plan states that Mid Suffolk will pursue a Compulsory Purchase Order on the site.”