Cross Keys Swing Bridge, Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire



Jan 16 2011

Although the Compulsory Purchase Order for the land for the proposed Travellers Site on Wingland has been granted, the land has not yet been bought by SHDC. A valuation of the land has to be made prior to the purchase and before any development of the site can take place. It is anticipated that this process will take several months to complete.

Legislation will be tabled in Parliament on Monday, 17th January 2011, which the Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said would bring about “fairness between the settled and travelling communities” by making provision for more authorised sites, while closing a loophole which allows travellers to apply for and obtain retrospective planning permission after having set up camp, but also making provision for extra authorised sites."

Dec 30 2010

The decision has been made by the Department for Communities and Local Government to allow the Compulsory Purchase Order of land off Centenary Way.


Sept 16 2010

The result of the Public Inquiry is due to be submitted to the Secretary of State early November, 2010, but may be subject to change.


Aug 6 2010

Following the publication by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister of Circular 01/2006, which concerns Planning for Gypsy and Travellers Caravan Sites, South Holland District Council considered establishing a Task Group to identify potential sites within the district, in accordance with the National Policy.

June 2006
National Policy:

Circular 01/2006 comments on the need to ensure sufficient sites are provided to reduce the number of unauthorised sites and to provide adequate level of provision to enable travellers to have fair access to suitable accommodation, education, health and welfare provision, and to recognise, protect and facilitate the traditional travelling way of life, while respecting the interests of the settled community.

Early in 2007 the search for the potential sites began, and in October 2007 a short list of eight potential sites was identified, one being the Wingland site at Sutton Bridge, selected as a temporary stopping place and planning applications were to be made.

The site met the South Holland District Council’s original search criteria. Although the site does lie within the Flood Zone 3 it lies well outside the rapid inundation zone and it is not intended for permanent residential use. The site was indentified as potential stopping place rather than a permanent site. It was further considered that the site provides a safe environment and to have an acceptable relationship with the wider community. A water main is available nearby and electricity could be connected to the site at, as well as sewage treatment plants

There were many responses concerning this selected site. In the main most objectors referred to one or more of the following:

Sutton Bridge Parish Council opposed the site on the following grounds:

The landowners also submitted strong objections on the grounds that:

Other objections have also been received from residents and businesses in the Chalk Lane area.

SHDC received representations from two Sutton Bridge Councillors, namely Cllrs. C. Brewis and M. Booth, with regard to the selected Wingland site. As well as presenting a written submission, they also raised the following issues of their concerns over this proposed site.

SHDC’s Cabinet Members responded to the questions and the following points were made in response to the concerns raised.

At a special meeting of the Cabinet in January 2008 the Wingland site was one of two that had been referred back to the Cabinet for further discussion. The Cabinet confirmed that the acquisition of the site(s) would be carried out in tandem with the planning process as it was not possible to compulsory purchase without planning permission. It was also noted the sites would not be developed without any funding.

The management of the site would almost certainly be the responsibility of SHDC as it would be difficult to find any other body to manage it. It was finally agreed that the selection of the Wingland site as a stopping place be confirmed, and as the selected site is a temporary stopping place therefore it is considered the criteria is not so important as a permanent residential site would be.

While it was appreciated that the stopping place was only a short distance from a site situated at Hay Green, the proposed temporary stopping place at Wingland would be for ten pitches only and as such would not impede commercial development of the Wingland Business Park. The nearest bungalows did not abut the site, and the location of the site behind the line of trees already in situ would effectively conceal it from the A17.

A suitable water mains serves the site, electricity could be provided and although the site would require its own sewage treatment works this was not considered to be a problem as it would for permanent residential sites.

By June 2009 other representations had been received from both Walpole Parish Council and Walpole cross Keys Parish Council. It was considered that these further representations did not raise any new issues and the recommendation remains.

Additional conditions for the site are that no business or trade shall take place there and that the site shall at all times be operated in accordance with the Management Scheme.

The site has an area of approximately 0.43 hectares (or approximately 1 acre) served by a single access road. Plans show that 10 pitches will be provided each with hard standing for one caravan and two vehicles. A small building to house the sluice and the fresh water supply will be erected close to the entrance of the site, linking to a cesspool for disposal of foul waste. A 900mm high soil bund will be constructed around the perimeter with a 775mm high galvanised steel buffer to the interior face of the bund. The site is intended to be used only as a temporary stopping place for Gypsies and Travellers only, for short periods of not more than 7 days.

The proposed site will be operated by SHDC, and site inspections will be carried out on a frequent basis, especially when the site is occupied. It is not anticipated that the site will be used by more than one family/group at any one time. A licence agreement will be provided for the site, which will set out the rules, and SHDC will adopt a pro-active approach to ensure the site rules are adhered to.

SHDC will also provide refuse disposal materials and collect refuse on a regular basis. The sewage disposal facility will be linked to a 2000 gallon cess pool which will be emptied on a regular basis.

The entrance to the site will be provided with lockable gates, which would enable the SHDC to control access to the site. To gain entry to the proposed site it will be necessary for the Travellers to call a contact telephone number for someone to come and open the locked gates.

This project has attracted many objections and these have been widely publicised in the local press.

With the land owners, nearby businesses and many residents having raised so many objections, a Compulsory Purchase Order has been issued. This has been disputed so there will now be a Public Inquiry, scheduled for 8th September 2010, originally scheduled to be held in the Council Offices at Spalding. So many Sutton Bridge residents were extremely unhappy the Inquiry was to take place so far from the village and expressed deep concern that many will not be able to attend, that the Parish Council proposed to make arrangements, if at all possible, to have the Public Inquiry held in Sutton Bridge itself. It has been reported that the Public Inquiry will be for one day, and many people think this is too short a time for all their objections to be heard and it is believed that it will go on for several days.

The request to have the Public Inquiry held in or nearer to Sutton Bridge itself has been successful and will now take place on the scheduled date of 8th September (beginning at 10am) at the Market House, 9 Market Street, Long Sutton.

Anyone attending the inquiry will be asked by the Inspector if they wish to speak. This applies even to those who have not previously lodged an objection. Members of the public are usually allowed to speak.

Any other objections can still be sent to Government Office London, NULAD, Planning and Housing Division, 9th Floor, Riverwalk House, 157-161 Millbank, London SW1P 4RR. Although the strict time period for objections has now passed, late objections are often considered.

0n 7th July 2010, a report in the national press stated that Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, abolished the Regional Strategies which forced councils to build unwanted traveller sites. Under the last government, councils were set targets for the number of sites they had to create. The targets regime would have seen the number of sites in the east of England increase from 878 two years ago to 2,085 by next year.

Will this new directive have any bearing on the outcome of the Public Inquiry?

¦ ⇑ Back to top of page ⇑ ¦