Concerns Grow Over Possible Travellers Site On Eastwood Rd

Residents have received a seemingly anonymous letter through their letterboxes ‘alerting’ them to the possible travellers site on Eastwood Rd.

Travelers sites can be a very emotive subject, however, putting the fact the Council are legally required to provide travellers pitches, I think in this case questions really should be asked as to why despite a site allocation in 2014 (P82, GT1), Michelins Farm, why has it never been delivered? Now that central government policy has changed it could be that this site (GT1) will never be delivered.

I can’t fathom a reason, as to why the site wasn’t delivered – money, nope there’s plenty of that in the Councils coffers (£9m in reserves), compulsory purchase the land and the job is done, after all it’s been unoccupied for sometime.

Elsewhere in the District, hundreds of thousands of pounds has been wiped off the value of residents homes, where the Council has allowed, by means of its inaction, illegal sites to ‘pop up’ and then further down the line been granted permission by the Government planning inspector due to a failure of the Council to provide the sites needed.

It all seems to be very clear to me – this anguish by residents has been caused by Conservative Rochford District Councils long term failure to act.

This could be a very uncomfortable situation for Cllr Ward, who lives in the ward and is the Portfolio Holder for Planning who is ultimately responsible for the situation.

I wouldn’t want that angry mob knocking on my door!

The meeting will be held on 31st January 2019 to discuss the Gypsy and Travellers Issues Paper

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About the author 

James Newport

Essex County Councillor for Rayleigh North, Rochford District Councillor for Downhall & Rawreth and Rayleigh Town Councillor for Sweyne.

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