Bramford/Ipswich: Villagers claim victory as travellers’ site proposal abandoned
PUBLISHED: 09:29 02 April 2014 | UPDATED: 09:30 02 April 2014
Proposals to develop a new travellers’ site on the edge of Ipswich have been abandoned after an outcry from the neighbouring village.
The borough council had proposed to allocate land at River Hill beside the A14 for five travellers’ pitches – but residents in Bramford felt there were already enough pitches near their village.
The site is outside the A14 “box” around the town although it is in the borough – it borders on Mid Suffolk district.
Borough council leader David Ellesmere said that after considering the public response to the proposal, they had decided to withdraw it and to speak to other districts to try to persuade them to increase their provision of pitches for the travelling community.
Ipswich already has the West Meadows site in the borough – that is also on the edge of town and borders Bramford village.
Mr Ellesmere said: “There will be a full report on our local plan coming to the council later in the year, but this proposal will not be part of that and we felt it was right to tell people that straight away to ease any concerns.
“We shall be talking to other districts to urge them to provide more travellers’ pitches – but this site will not be considered for this use.”
The land is next to the Clarice House health club, and at an open meeting in Bramford in February its boss Stuart King warned that the establishment of a travellers’ site next to it could drive his club out of business.
Mr King was delighted to hear the news from the borough: “That is fantastic. There were real worries about the business. This is great news for the staff and our members.”
He told February’s meeting that he had hoped to buy the borough-owned land next to his business to develop it as an outdoor fitness trail. Mr Ellesmere said the borough still had to decide what to do with the land.
Bramford parish council chairman Kevin Welsby said people in the village would be very relieved to hear that the site was no longer being considered for travellers.
He said: “This is very good news. People in the village don’t have a problem with travellers – but they did feel it was not right to develop all the pitches so near to one another. I am glad that the borough has listened to our concerns.”