Travellers at Flying Fortress pub being moved to temporary ‘flood plain’ site off Compiegne Way, Bury St Edmunds

Travellers at the former Flying Fortress pub on Moreton Hall in Bury.

Travellers at the former Flying Fortress pub on Moreton Hall in Bury. - Credit: Archant

Travellers are being moved to a “flood plain” in Bury St Edmunds after they pitched up at the Flying Fortress Pub, in Moreton Hall.

The family group were left without a home when permission at a temporary site at Orttewell Road expired, and set up camp outside the former Greene King pub on Tuesday.

Now, St Edmundsbury Borough Council staff have started preparing a site next to the River Lark, off Compiegne Way.

Borough councillor David Nettleton, whose ward borders the new temporary site, has voiced concerns over “dangerous” road access.

He said: “It is a flood plain, next to a river. It is fine if you want to pull your wellies on and take your dog for a walk, but not for living on.

“I am really concerned about the highways impact. It is a busy road, people come past there not exactly slowly after coming off the A14. It is on the inside of a bend, it is dangerous.

“You would not give permission for access there normally, why should it be different for a travellers site? It is important that everybody is treated the same, and this is not being treated that way.”

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The site, which is located between the Etna Road and Tesco turnings, on the opposite side of the road, is on the opposing bank to the allotments.

The borough council have defended their decision, claiming it will prevent further costs. Anne Gower, St Edmundsbury Borough cabinet member for housing, said: “In the absence of an authorised traveller site in the area, and rather than return to a cycle of unauthorised encampments, the council has agreed a temporary toleration on a small piece of land off Compiegne Way. There is no intention that this will become a permanent site.”

In a letter being sent to nearby residents, Mrs Gower said: “A traveller family, with local connections, is in the process of applying for planning permission for a private traveller site, which will be considered by St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Development Control Committee early in 2015.

“The family have been living on a site at Orttewell Road, under a ‘temporary toleration agreement’.

“St Edmundsbury Borough Council is preparing the terms of a new temporary toleration agreement.

“The conditions will include a limit on the number of vehicles, maintenance of site and payment for waste collection services, among others.

“The toleration agreement will be linked to the time required for the planning application for the permanent site to make its way through the committee process.”