Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Council must think again on Traveller Site

The Ladywell Village Improvement Group is opposed to the Council's plans for a traveller site at the end of Church Grove. It believes this constrained site with inadequate access arrangements is unsuitable for the proposed development and urges the Council to look again at alternatives in the Borough that will better enable it to deliver its statutory obligations.

LVIG is appalled at the way Church Grove residents have been treated, having been told in the last year first that they could set up a community garden on the site, then that the site would instead be put to educational use. News that the site had once again been identified for a Traveller Site came as a complete shock.

Whilst there were seven sites on the shortlist put to Mayor and Cabinet, the somewhat arbitrary selection criteria were skewed to favour a Council-owned site with existing planning permission even though recent history suggests there is little or no urgency. Furthermore the Council has conveniently ignored the access shortcomings and other suitability issues in national guidance and the fact that 5 units will go no significant way to meet the Council’s own assessed demand for a minimum of 17 units by 2012. Inexplicably consultation is only taking place in relation to one site, the smallest of the seven: if in reality this has already been chosen why insult residents with this charade of consultation?

LVIG, which campaigns for improvements to the neighbourhood and strives to encourage more investment in a poorly-managed conservation area, believes the proposals for the site will not boost the area’s regeneration or promote the profile of a neglected part of the borough. The fact that this will be a Council-managed site gives no reassurance that it will be well-run and any sort of asset to the area.

The Council has behaved in a high-handed manner and all recent evidence suggests it is set on ignoring local concerns. The Council's apparent determination to push through this proposal highlights a lack of a strategic vision for the neighbourhood and LVIG invites the Council to embark on a broad, more meaningful consultation with residents about the future of the Ladywell area.

The LVIG Committee


Clare from Church Grove said...

Well done and thank you to LVIG. We now have the support of LVIG, our local Councillors, MP Joan Ruddock, the Green Party members of the London Assembly, local journalists and the BBC. We wouldn't have that support if we were just a group of prejudiced NIMBYs. Our concerns are real and practical and they won't go away. When is the Council going to start taking them seriously? Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

See the ITV report here

Anonymous said...

Consultation ends 18th December. Click here to leave your comments: