Village gypsy site scheme is scrapped

PLANS to build 14 gypsy and traveller pitches in Fordham countryside have been scrapped.

East Cambridgeshire District Council confirmed that the two sites proposed for Isleham Road would no longer go ahead as they were considered unsuitable for development.

The sites, which were identified as part of the district council’s local plan for future housing needs, would have included 14 pitches with three to four caravans on each pitch.

In a letter to Fordham Parish Council, Stewart Patience, a forward planning officer for the district council, said: “The land adjacent to 82 Isleham Road, Fordham, owned by Cambridgeshire County Council, was not considered to be a suitable site for the reasons set out in the committee report.

“We anticipate that we will shortly secure confirmation in writing from the landowner of 82 Isleham Road, Fordham, that the site is not available for development.

“Therefore these sites will not be considered further by development and transport committee as the sites are not suitable or available for development.”

MP for South East Cambridgeshire Jim Paice said he welcomed the news that neither site would be included in the local plan.

“I am glad that common sense has prevailed here,” he said. “Whilst we must make sure we provide pitches for the travelling community in our area, we must also make sure that these are in sensible locations.

“Having listened to the concerns of local residents and seen the sites myself, it seems clear that it is right of the local council to drop them from the local plan.”

More than 200 residents attended a public meeting in Fordham’s Victoria Hall last month to object to the proposed sites.

Hugh Palmer, chairman of Fordham Parish Council, said: “We had to support our residents on this cause wholeheartedly.

“I think the decision will satisfy the people that were most unhappy about the situation.”

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