Central Beds confirms Henlow is now on shortlist for gipsy or traveller site

Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) confirmed this afternoon that Henlow has been officially added to the list of proposed gipsy and traveller sites. The announcement came after a meeting of the council s sustainable communities and overview and scrutiny C

Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) confirmed this afternoon that Henlow has been officially added to the list of proposed gipsy and traveller sites.

The announcement came after a meeting of the council's sustainable communities and overview and scrutiny Committee when Clifton was finally deleted from the list.

Also on the list in Comet country is the site in Hitchin Road, Arlesey, which has not been opposed by Arlesey Town Council.

But Henlow Parish Council are against the plans and told today's meeting that the proposed site suffers flooding at regular periods and the site would suffer from noise pollution from aircraft movements at nearby RAF Henlow.

The parish council also said the site covers approximately seven acres twice as large as a recently submitted planning application for 29 houses in Henlow and that schools in Henlow and Henlow Camp are at saturation point.

Vehicles exiting the site will also have to negotiate children walking to and from Derwent Lower School which is next to the site.

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The parish council also listed a number of other reasons why the site is unsuitable including the disturbance of the wild bird population.

Bert Schrier, clerk to the parish council, told the meeting: "The site was rejected at Task Force on December 7, 2009, after a number of concerns were raised. Henlow Parish Council maintains that the reasons for initially rejecting this site are still valid, and will be very difficult and expensive to overcome.

"Because of the wish to replace the land at New Road, Clifton, the five highest scoring sites have been revisited. Of these five sites the Henlow Camp site scored the lowest.

"Development of any kind in Hitchin Road has previously been rejected on the grounds of unacceptable development in the countryside, and the last new property built in Hitchin Road in 1988 was subject to Agricultural Occupancy only.

"More recent development in Middlefield Close was conversion of redundant barns. Surely to develop on this agricultural land would be contrary to the Council's own policy."

A public consultation concerning all of the suites will start in late March.