From Bedfordshire On Sunday
Residents have accused the council of ‘crucifying a town’ over claims they weren’t told about a Gypsy site application.
Liz Borland of Great Denham said that she attended an emergency meeting of the village’s parish council on Wednesday night after the authority heard whispers of a proposed Traveller site on Bromham Road, Bedford.
The application is to form a five pitch Gypsy site including five mobile homes and five associated touring caravans.
Bedford Borough Council confirmed it had only told Bromham and Stagsden Parish Councils about the application.
The site would be on one of the main arteries heading into Bedford along the A428. Mrs Borland said: “I’m fuming about this whole situation.
Great Denham Parish Council had to call a meeting to discuss it and that’s only because they heard it through Chinese whispers.
“I don’t know what Bedford Borough Council is doing. They are crucifying the town.
“The location of site is wrong for families that could be living there because there’s no pedestrian access for them. This is what people will see when they drive into Bedford – a Gypsy site.” A spokesman for Bedford Borough Council said: “The council can confirm it has received a planning application for a change of use at Bromham Nurseries to site Gypsy and Traveller pitches.
“The council has consulted Stagsden Parish Council as the site falls within their boundary.
Bromham Parish Council has also been notified as the site is adjacent to their boundary. Both parish councils were contacted on March 5.
“The consultation as part of the planning application is still open and closes on Monday April 9.” Borough councillor Mark Smith who represents Great Denham and sits on the council’s planning committee said: “Perhaps when an application is a sensitive as this one then people living in the wider vicinity should be notified as well. It is disappointing that this was not the case.”
On Monday Bedford Borough Council’s planning committee gave the go-ahead for 14 pitches to be built at Meadow Lane in Bedford.
The application had been recommended to be deferred for more tests on odours from the nearby sewage works but it was unanimously voted through.