Suffolk: Consultation opens on new sites for travellers

Travellers set up camp in Langer Park, Felixstowe, in June this year Travellers set up camp in Langer Park, Felixstowe, in June this year

Wednesday, August 20, 2014
9:49 AM

People in Suffolk are being given a say on where three new travellers’ sites should be set up in the county.

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Seven possible locations have been identified, and people will have a chance to register their views over the next six weeks.

The consultation follows the release of figures which show that 210 unauthorised encampments have appeared in the county since 2007.

Taking all of the encampments together this is equivalent to 10 years of unofficial stopping on private and public land.

Suffolk’s council, policing and health leaders have launched the consultation to identify sites that would help towards solving the issue of unauthorised and random encampments. The average length of the encampments is 19 days.

The sites are:

Lay-by off A143 opposite Shepherds Lane, Wortham.

Land between Candlet Road and Treetops, Felixstowe.

Lay-by on Felixstowe Road, Levington, south of junction with Bridge Road.

Former Little Chef site, Kentford, between Bury Road and A14.

Former Chippings Dump, Upthorpe Road, Stanton.

Former Little Chef site, off A14 by the Orwell Bridge.

A140 junction with Castleton Way, Eye.

A short stay stopping site is a permanent site intended for temporary use by Gypsies and Travellers. The length of stay generally varies between 28 days and three months.

Users pay rent for their pitches but the sites are not intended to be used as a permanent base. Currently, there are no short stay stopping sites in Suffolk.

Speaking on behalf of the elected leaders of Suffolk’s eight councils and Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore, Councillor Mark Bee, Suffolk County Council’s leader, said there needed to be a long term solution to the problem of unauthorised encampments.

He said: “When unauthorised encampments appear, local authorities work together to move them on. However, with no long term solution in place, it is unclear where such encampments will appear next.

“Other counties have short stay stopping sites and these offer the travelling community a proper alternative to unauthorised encampments.

“It’s important that everyone who wants to gets a real say in this, which is why we are inviting members of the public to give comments.

“Unauthorised encampments can have an enormous impact on the county. Not only can they cause tensions in the community, they also use valuable public resources and can have an impact on our economy.

“We believe that introducing three Gypsy and Traveller short stay stopping sites in Suffolk will save taxpayers money, help meet the needs of Gypsy and Travellers moving through the county and reduce unauthorised encampments.”

Jane, whose family owns land in Sudbury, is one person who supports the creation of short stay stopping sites. Travellers have set up three unauthorised encampments on her land in the last five years.

In each case, the family have moved the travellers on themselves – but not without expense and stress to themselves.

She said: “Something really needs to be done about unauthorised encampments and I think short stay sites might be part of the answer.

“Having people come onto your property is both distressing and expensive. I’d like to see official places created so that travelling families don’t use private land owned by other people.

“If nothing is done, unauthorised encampments will just continue and people like me will continue to be impacted.”

Members of the public can give their views in the following ways:

Online at www.suffolk.gov.uk/consultations

Downloading, printing, completing and posting the survey to Suffolk County Council

Requesting a survey, or e-mailing feedback, via: shortstaysites@suffolk.gov.uk

Completing the survey over the phone by calling 0845 603 1842

Attending one of four consultation drop-in sessions.

These will take place at:

Public drop-in sessions will be taking place on:

2-8pm, Monday 8 September – Council Chamber, Mid Suffolk District Council, Needham Market

2-8pm, Tuesday 9 September 2014 – Bucklesham Village Hall

2-8pm, Wednesday 10 September 2014 – Stanton Village Hall

2-8pm, Thursday 11 September 2014 – Eye Town Hall

2-8pm, Friday 12 September 2014 – Millennium Centre, Red Lodge

The consultation will be open until midnight on Wednesday 1 October 2014.

Cliff Codona, chair of the National Traveller Action Group, said: “We estimate that there some 1,000 Gypsies and Travellers in Suffolk – many of which are good citizens living in houses, paying their taxes and sending their children to local schools.

“But those that want to travel struggle to find legal, legitimate and safe places to stop which is why short stay sites are needed.

“I speak to travelling families every day and I know that facilities like these – where families pay rent and respect the surroundings – are what they want and will help to reduce the number of unauthorised encampments.”

Should firm proposals come forward, they will then be subject to local planning application processes – meaning further public consultation will take place.

19 comments

  • These camps should be away from residential areas, the Felixstowe site is totally unsuitable its right alongside peoples homes. I would agree with the A14 sites.

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    john

    Friday, August 22, 2014

  • So comments will be made via the public consultation - to make everyone believe that they're having some input - then completely ignored and the decisions will be made regardless. If the photo is from a genuine travellers site they must have just turned up! Where's all the rubbish that is normally strewn around.

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    Adrian Day

    Friday, August 22, 2014

  • Of course there must be more official sites. Suffolk must accomodate its share of travellers. Blame Basildon council for evicting travellers from their own property at Dale Farm, which is a major reason for travellers stopping at unauthorised sites all over East Anglia. But, above all, ignore contemptible attitudes like that of newsaddict who suggests that other counties should bear the brunt of the problem.

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    Boris

    Thursday, August 21, 2014

  • A very biased and lazy report by Paul Geator. He has managed to dig up someone called only "Jane" who is in support of these sites but has not managed to find anyone who is against. Nor has he explained why "travellers" need 3 sites in Suffolk or why so may of them are in Suffolk Coastal District. Also, does the presence of 3 sites mean that "travellers" can string their stay out for up to 9 months in total?

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    Grumpy Git

    Thursday, August 21, 2014

  • Remember when I was about 5 the Gypsies used to come and camp on the corner of the road that went from Stanstead Suffolk to Long Melford . The women would carry wicker baskets from house to house with colored ribbons to sell . Fond memories .

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    Violet Adlam

    Thursday, August 21, 2014

  • Look no comments printed

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    pandy

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

  • No comments yet printed and mine I wonder why?

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    pandy

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

  • Really good idea. Clearly needed. However, if these sites do get the go ahead, with it should come absolute zero tolerance or illegal camping as seen recently. It must have took a good week, if not more to remove travellers off of Gypeswyk Park and it should be possible to take same day action.

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    Sentinel Red

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

  • Keep it at NO short stay stopping sites in Suffolk. When I lived in Brentwood there was a NO Stop policy which is fine and the Police was brilliant with the public helping keep an eye out about it, send them off to another county to cause problem and NOT in Suffolk. Problem Solved

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    newsaddict

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

  • Think the empty Little Chef Sites may be an option, they tend to be away from homes but close to major travel routes, we need to give people who want to travel a place to stop for a few days rather than them stopping on private land or public parks. we need to ensure there will be rubbish facilities and adequate services supplied, and as there will e charges applied it should help to fund itself

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    Footyfan

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

  • Does any one who is making this decision believe it will solve the problem? Will they pay and move on after the times up I don't think so ,if Passmore and bee think it's such a good idea have them near them and watch their house prices drop,

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    pandy

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

  • If they are travellers how about asking them to travel on. Its a joke to think time money and resource is being spent on this.

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    fence sitter

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

  • The Little Chef site on the Orwell Bridge is perfect. The slip road out of the Shell Garage already causes enough accidents as people try to accelerate up to the national speed limit within the 30 or 40 yards available - imagine if they're pulling a caravan! And I'm sure the residents of Levington will be delighted at the opportunity to celebrate a bit of diversity in their lovely little village.

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    PC Plod

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

  • So there is a site proposed in Felixstowe and yet no consultation location in the town. Funny Bucklesham and eye get local consultation locations for the site near them and yet Felixstowe a larger town does not.

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    A Smith

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

  • How about option 8 settle down, get your head down and pay your way fair and square, like the rest of us?

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    richie w

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

  • I have never seen a traveller site like the one in the picture!!! Usually more like waste dumps.

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    Val

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

  • And like every other consultation, the powers that be will ignore everything that's said. You can guarantee these sites will be nowhere near where the councillors live.

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    Sudders

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

  • If they just want a short stay why not do what we have to do, book a hotel!

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    Tractorboy49

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

  • The sealand fort off Felixstowe is the answer

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    a west

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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