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Anger over traveller site plans

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: November 07, 2012

By Natalie Wakefield

Travellers

Travellers

Comments (9)

ANGER has been sparked by plans to create a site for travellers on the outskirts of Ashbourne.

Derbyshire Dales District Council is proposing to designate land adjacent to Ashbourne cemetery and the Mayfield Road allotments as a site for travellers, allowing up to five caravans to be situated there for a period of three years.

The move has prompted strong reactions from townsfolk, with Ashbourne Town Council and Ashbourne Allotment Associations both calling emergency meetings this week ahead of the district council’s Southern Area Planning Committee meeting on Tuesday, November 13, at which a change of use application will be decided.

Currently, a traveller family is staying at Bakewell Showground, which is partially owned by the district council. A temporary site at Rowsley is being set up while the potential three-year site at Ashbourne is decided.

A spokesman for Derbyshire Dales District Council said: “A planning application has been submitted for a traveller site in the Derbyshire Dales on the outskirts of Ashbourne and a decision is likely on November 13.” Ashbourne Town Council member, Caroline Cooper, said: “My personal view is that I think it is in the wrong place. I’m really angry about it. There has been no consultation with the town council and our district councillors who also sit on the town council have not said anything to us about it.

“I am very disappointed that we, as a town council, who are supposed to be the leading body in the town, are the last people, yet again, to know what’s happening.” Ashbourne Allotment Association (AAA) has expressed concerns ahead of the decision and was due to hold an emergency general meeting after the News Telegraph went to press last night.

Chairman of the AAA, Barry Morrison, said: “Derbyshire Dales have paid nothing towards this access road and they want to use our way in. If this does happen, we shall lose plot-holders.

“The problem is caravans coming through our car park. There are children and young families here and we don’t think it is safe to bring them through. It was never meant to be used as a throughway.

“We have paid for the surfacing of this car park and now the district council want to use it as an access road and they’ve never paid anything towards it. Our gripe is with Derbyshire Dales District Council.” The News Telegraph made several attempts to contact the Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group, but due to family illness representatives were unavailable for comment before going to press.

The district council will have to apply to its own planning committee which will meet at Ashbourne Leisure Centre at 6pm on Tuesday.

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9 comments

  • Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  January 06 2013, 9:23PM

    How we get the site plans? www.buyaplan.co.uk

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  • Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  December 05 2012, 9:40PM

    I thought "travellers" were meant to travel? OK that really seems a great idea,off you go BYE, and dont come back.

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  • Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  November 14 2012, 4:34AM

    If they're travellers why are they wanting a more or less permanent site to park their caravans??

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  • Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  November 08 2012, 5:53PM

    why should ashbourne have a travellers site when so many things are needed in this town to attract more tourists. The simple fact of a travellers site is that toursits coming through the town dont want to see a bunch of caravans parked, the want to come to shop and spend a nice day here, but the way the council is going there not letting the public get there views accross instead there making the decisions which are NOT what we want as a town. scrap the charity shops and antique shops and let ashbiurne grow!!

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  • Kathryn.Wedgbury  |  November 07 2012, 9:51PM

    firstly, im not entirely sure if these comments will be read or acknowledged appropriately, but quite simply, the proposal for a 'traveller site' in or anywhere near Ashbourne is rediculous. What a complete and utter outrage! as far as i can see there is absolutely no possible benefit to the town or its residents from such a development. regardless of wether it is accurate or deserved, the stigma that is attached to the travelling community can only have an adverse affect on Ashbourne and its reputation as a quiet, respectable market town. The fact that the development was kept 'hush-hush' from the general public only demonstrates that the persons responsible for submitting the initial plans were fully aware that it would be met with extreme hostility from Ashbournes population. in my opinion, the whole thing reeks of 'back handers' and dodgy dealings. Ive lived in Ashbourne all my life and have become used to the friendly and safe environment thats promoted by the town. however the introduction of a traveller site will only be the beginnig of a slippery downhill slope. Lets say the site consisted of a couple of 'respectable' families to begin with. How long would it be before the site began to attract the kinds of families or individuals that Asbourne wouldnt want to welcome with open arms?! Furthermore, why is a traveller site even neccessary! surely the whole idea of being a traveller is to travel (and avoid paying tax?) if they want a permanent residence surely they should buy or rent a house like the rest of us! To conclude, the idea to build a traveller site in our town is an absolute disgrace and everything in our power should be done to squash to very idea of it.

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  • Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  November 07 2012, 6:36PM

    At least they won't be short of fruit and vegetables

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  • Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  November 07 2012, 2:33PM

    I'm really angry about this - I live on Mayfield Road and have no doubt that a traveller site in such close proximity means I can kiss goodbye to ever selling this house and moving up the property ladder - they could be the nicest travellers in the world but it will still put people off. And sad as it is to say, my experiences of travellers sites previously (2 different sites) were not the good kind! And what makes me even angrier is that none of us residents were told - I only found out when the Allotments Associate put the note through our door to advise of the meeting (which I was unfortunately not able to attend much as I wanted to). I'm fuming!

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  • Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  November 07 2012, 10:10AM

    I think this idea by DDDC is absolutely ludicrous. I have nothing against travellers but it will make people feel uneasy in their own town if it gets passed. Not only that but if the bad element travellers get wind of this then Ashbourne will be a hub of activity and not of the good kind that we are trying to promote and bring into the town.

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  • Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  November 07 2012, 8:21AM

    Please note the facebook page set up about this. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Planningappfortravellersinashbourne/373993322688558

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