Gypsy site expansion met with opposition

A PROPOSAL to extend a gypsy site in a peaceful rural village has been met with fierce opposition.

Russell Claydon

A PROPOSAL to extend a gypsy site in a peaceful rural village has been met with fierce opposition.

More than 60 residents in Bures Hamlet, between Sudbury and Colchester, have voiced their objections during a consultation into a planning application to increase pitches at Ferriers Lane.

The owners of the site have submitted plans to Braintree District Council to build two extra gypsy pitches and three additional transit pitches, as well as additional hard standing and a day room at 2, The Smallholdings.

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But the parish council have led calls for the proposals to be scrapped, saying it would be a dangerous “gross overdevelopment” of the site on the outskirts of the village, which borders a conservation area.

Concerns have also been raised that emergency service vehicles such as fire engines could not get down the narrow bridleway leading to it and walkers' safety would be put at risk from the extra traffic.

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Anthony Shelton, Braintree District Councillor for Stour Vale South, which includes Bures Hamlet, said: “They are a very friendly, helpful community but they feel that it is an intensification right on the boundary of the village that has not been thought through.

“I am concerned about it as well. I am not happy that access to a site that is proposing five additional parking areas is going to access it along a bridleway. And I do not believe it is right for an increase of the number of users on that site in its current position.”

He added: “The access is inadequate and I do not believe there is adequate infrastructure to meet its need.”

Initially, the original approval for the site - on appeal - was for one gypsy family limited to one mobile home and one dayroom.

But the parish council have listed vehicular access, refuse and surface water drainage issues and noise and light pollution among its large number of concerns.

A recommendation by planners is yet to be made ahead of the proposal going before committee later this month.

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