Hundreds gather for public meeting over controversial plans for travellers’ site in Church Lane, Claydon

The meeting held at Claydon High School to discuss the proposed travellers' site.

The meeting held at Claydon High School to discuss the proposed travellers' site. - Credit: Archant

Around 300 people turned up at a public meeting in Claydon last night to air their views on controversial plans for a travellers site on rural land in Church Lane.

The meeting, held at Claydon High School, had originally been scheduled for Tuesday at Claydon and Barham Village Hall, but was rescheduled after more than 200 people turned up to the 100 capacity hall.

The contentious proposal looks to develop land along Church Lane into a travellers’ site, with three static caravans, two touring caravans and an amenity building, as well as erecting new fencing, and developing parking and road access.

However, many of the residents have objected to the proposals.

Speaking at the meeting, one resident said: “You are going open precedence for planning. Once you have granted permission to be there, that might open it for other areas.”

Another resident added: “The road is too narrow. A fire engine had to get up that road some time ago and it got stuck on that corner, and the road floods so surely it cannot cope?”

Members of the public had also questioned the drainage on the site, and how people would access the land when the road does not have a footpath.

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Concern was also voiced that existing travellers’ sites near the A14 in Ipswich and at Combs Ford near Stowmarket still had available space.

John Williams, vice-chairman of Claydon and Whitton Parish Council who chaired the meeting on behalf of the public, said: “This meeting has been asked for by the residents and we have stepped in to help.

“The details will be taken away to be discussed by the parish council.”

A parish council extraordinary meeting is due for next week, before residents’ views are passed on to Mid Suffolk District Council.

Nearly 50 comments have been posted on the application on the Mid Suffolk District Council website, with the deadline for comments on February 11.