October 21st, 2016

Travellers move onto Campion Hills after site plan ditched

Travellers move onto Campion Hills after site plan ditched Travellers move onto Campion Hills after site plan ditched
The entrance to the proposed site
Updated: 9:54 am, Apr 15, 2016

A STIR was caused when travellers moved onto Campion Hills just days after council chiefs dropped controversial plans for a permanent Gypsy camp at the site.

Some ten caravans parked up on the site on Tuesday morning. It came just five days after the council abandoned plans for

15 permanent pitches on the site following fierce opposition from residents.

But a Warwick District Council spokeswoman told The Observer this week the travellers were working at the fun-fair running on Campion Hills for the next two weekends so were allowed to set up camp on site.

Lillington resident and district councillor Alan Boad claimed a victory for commonsense after the council’s decision not to pursue Campion Hills as an option for the 31 permanent pitches the authority has to provide by law.

He told The Observer: “We explained the case needed to be argued about the unsuitability of the site. It’s in the middle of a housing estate where the roads have traffic calming measures and 90 degree bends.

“The BMX track at the bottom of the hill is used for national competitions and so the top of the hill, where the traveller site would be, is used for parking.

“There were lots of reasons why the site shouldn’t be used and it is shocking that it was even considered. Warwick District Council need to revisit other sites which have been considered and dismissed for no good reason.”

The Campion Hills suggestion came somewhat out of the blue. Sites at Leamington Football Club, Oaklands Farm near Hatton, and land off the Fosse Way had also been considered as potential sites – but are all set to be ruled out for reasons including the cost of buying land, green-belt status and opposition from nearby residents and businesses.

Land off Europa Way was also in the running to provide up to eight temporary pitches for those passing through but potential plans to widen the main road have forced the council to reconsider.

It is now back to the drawing board.

District council leader, Andrew Mobbs said the decision to remove Campion Hills as a potential site was simply down to people’s opposition.

He added: “The land is clearly an important part of the local community used daily by dog walkers, joggers, cyclists and for numerous events. There were also concerns regarding highway access.

“I am very conscious that we need to fulfil a need for a permanent gypsy and traveller site but it is vital we choose the right site, one that will fulfil the needs required with minimal impact on the local community.

“We will now revisit our shortlist and put forward another option for public consultation in the very near future.”