Response to Traveller Site

Rosemary Cottage
22 November 2018

Dear Angela


I am writing in response to your recent communication in which you sought comments on the Travellers’ Site Development Plan dated October 2018.

Madley Parish Council understand and support, in principle, the Government’s drive to secure suitable sites for the Traveller community across the country but consider that, on balance, the proposed site at Stoney Street is an unsuitable location.

By way of explanation, there are longstanding and historical reasons which cast real doubt over the suitability of the proposed site in Stoney Street.  In January 2013, the then Head of Environmental Protection and Licencing commented that “Madley site has proven to be unattractive to Travellers “for a variety of reasons including and again I quote “the current site is out of use. It is not in a favoured location and there are historic problems with drainage”.  The report goes on to state that “there have been historic problems with drainage and sanitation at the site leading to complaints from neighbouring landowners who have questioned the suitability of this site in the long term”.

Later in 2013, in a report produced by the Environmental Health and Trading Standards Health and Wellbeing Service People’s Directorate recommended that the site previously used by the Travellers in Stoney Street should be sold for the following reasons:

The Madley site is in the wrong location for travellers passing through the County who tend to use the primary road network. This is because transient traveller communities visiting Herefordshire would benefit from a relocated transit site at a location where it would have easier access….

It is the view of Madley Parish Council that these observations remain equally valid today and, in fact, with the development of the industrial estate the proposed site is even less suitable than was the case in 2013 because of the commensurate increase in traffic and noise.  Undoubtedly, there would already be significant health and safety issues should land at Stoney Street be used as a site for the traveller community which are likely to be exacerbated if the industrial estate develops further in subsequent years.

Further, there is recognition in the Development Plan itself that there are issues revolving around the “proximity of the industrial estate opposite the site”. Whilst Madley Parish Council acknowledges the proposal to use landscaping to “mitigate the visual impact” it believes strongly that other factors render this proposal impracticable.

Landscaping a bund wall around the site does not make a completely unsuitable plot of land surrounded by industrial and commercial activity suitable for any basic standard of Residential accommodation that has no safe means of accessing the community facilities.

In conclusion, whilst Madley Parish Council has no difficulty with the general aims of the Travellers’ Site Development Plan for the reasons outlined above it cannot support the adoption of land at Stoney Site as a site for the traveller community.

Yours sincerely

Mark Hearne

Clerk to Madley Parish Council

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