Scheme to extend crowded travellers' camp approved

PLANS for an extension to a travellers camp on the outskirts of Cottingham have been approved despite parish council objections.

East Riding councillors agreed plans which will see the site on Westfield Road, Eppleworth double in size on the back of 1.2m Government funding.

Supporters say the 20-year-old site is overcrowded, with families having to double up on pitches and forced to share showers. Work is expected to begin in the early summer.

Coun Katrin McClure, who represents Cottingham South, said the site would give people facilities "that the rest of us take for granted".

She said: "This group of travellers have lived here now for generations. They are settled here with their children and grandchildren going to local schools just as they did themselves and with access to facilities that they and we need such as doctors."

Coun McClure said the authority was still falling short on providing transient sites, where people could stop two or three weeks, then move on. "We don't have any here, that's where the problems are. It's not the ones who are living here – I don't get any complaints about them at all."

Lindsey Jones, who campaigns for travellers' rights, said: "It's really good news. Quite often there's no political will to anything about gipsies and travellers but in this instance 11 have voted positively with only two against."

The new site will have ten permanent pitches, each with their own shower and toilet and kitchen – although tenants will have to provide their own white goods.

Both Cottingham and Skidby parish council had objected, with the former concerned about a new connection to the mains in an area where residents have already had drains backing up, while Skidby was concerned about the visual impact. However, Yorkshire Water think the system can cope and the site will be screened.

Meanwhile the council is holding a consultation event in Bridlington over proposals for four extra pitches as part of a 1.4m refurbishment of the site at Woldgate.

The proposals have been deferred by the council's planning permission for further consultation. The event takes place at St Mark's Church Centre, West Hill, Bridlington on February 1, from 11am to 6pm.