Will “dead bits of land” in Harlow be used for travellers?

News / Fri 18th May 2018 pm31 01:37pm

By Piers Meyler
Local Democracy Reporter

“DEAD bits of land” next to next major road schemes such as the new A120 should be looked at to create specific transit areas to help move on travellers from authorised encampments more quickly – a leading Essex councillor has said.

Essex County Council cabinet member Susan Barker made the comments at the Essex Countywide Traveller Unit Joint Committee yesterday ahead of the announcement of the new A120 route due to be announced on June 8.

The committee heard that travellers could be transferred to a transit site from any part of the county to expedite their removal from unauthorised sites situated anywhere in Essex.

A transit site in Essex may mirror the Hertfordshire County Council-owned transit site with space for 15 pitches already operating in South Mimms – that councillors described as “bleak and horrible”.

Susan Barker said: “No-one wants a transit site but traditionally these are adjacent to major roads. I don’t know the route for the A120 and I don’t know if there are going to be any spare bits of land.

“I am not wishing it on Braintree or Harlow but I do think that major road schemes like that do potentially give the opportunity for there to be dead bits of land and I do think we have to be realistic about the idea that one of these schemes may throw up something.”

Councillor Sue Lissimore said a sweep of all the land including highways land had come up with one site in the whole of Essex.

She said: “I still find it difficult to understand that with all the pieces of land that ECC has connections with we still haven’t got something somewhere that would be suitable.

“If we are going to have a transit site then one area will have to take the hit for all of us. None of us want it to be our area, but legally one of us could take the hit and that would cover us for the whole of Essex.”

Speaking about the site in South Mimms she said: “It was interesting seeing how bleak and horrible it was. This not a glamorous site – it is clean and efficient – that is about as much as I can say about it.”

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1 Comment for Will “dead bits of land” in Harlow be used for travellers?:

2018-05-18 15:59:18

No problems for Harlow then, thanks to John Clempner and his team. Carry on Sue Lissimore, for surely Harlow doesn't need a transit road. More appropriate now that Braintree is the focal point for people wishing to travel into Colchester and all regions East.

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