Traveller site by school plan rejected

A controversial option to create four traveller pitches next door to a school has been thrown out by a council scrutiny committee.

The application for the proposed pitches on council-owned agricultural land next to Derwent Lower School in Henlow was recommended for refusal by Central Beds councillors today (Tuesday).

The committee said the four plots should be accommodated within the other proposed sites which met with their approval at Barton Road, Pulloxhill; Westoning Road, Greenfield; Hitchin Road, Arlesey and Magpie Farm, Upper Caldecote.

Kevin Smith, spokesman for opposition group Campaign Travellers which fought the proposals in Henlow, said they were “very pleased” with the result but added they would remain vigilant because it could return to the agenda in the future.

The council wants to find room for 26 pitches in the district for travellers or gypsy families by 2015, a reduction from the 40 originally required by the last government.

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The committee’s report will now go to cabinet for approval on September 28, before a six week public consultation.

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