Travellers site protest march
By James HoreUP to 100 people are set to march tonight in protest against controversial proposals for a town's new travellers site.Colchester Borough Council will announce tonight its choice for the location of the new site, with land to the east of the town's Severalls Lane likely to be selected.
By James Hore
UP to 100 people are set to march tonight in protest against controversial proposals for a town's new travellers site.
Colchester Borough Council will announce tonight its choice for the location of the new site, with land to the east of the town's Severalls Lane likely to be selected.
It was put forward as the recommended site by CDN Planning, a firm of consultants brought in to evaluate possible locations so the council could not be accused of political interference with the decision.
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But two busloads of residents from Langham will be heading into Colchester to march to the Town Hall tonight, angry that their village was originally considered for a travellers site and borders the preferred site.
Andy Hardie, 54, of Lodge Lane, Langham, said the march was a chance to show the opposition felt by the majority of residents.
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“We are fighting this on a number of issues - we have been told that the council is just complying with the law by providing a travellers site,” he added.
“It is not true and they are not required to provide one by law and have not been required to do so since 1994.
“The residents of Langham are, in the main, absolutely outraged. The council are proposing to build on land they would not let anybody else build on.”
Council officers have warned Colchester Borough Council's cabinet they would need to have “firm grounds” to reject tonight the CDN Planning's recommended site on technical issues.
Companies on the Severalls business park, which is near the recommended site, have threatened to leave if it goes ahead.
Beverley Oxford, a borough councillor for Highwoods, said residents there were also concerned.
“A lot of people here are worried about their property values. They are worried about crime, schools, and anti social behaviour,” she added.