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Fairhill gypsy site could reopen after ‘technical issues’ with Meadow Lane

By Bedfordshire On Sunday  |  Posted: April 03, 2013

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PLANS are underway to reopen a former gypsy and traveller site in Bedford as an alternative to Meadow Lane after ‘technical issues’ arose causing delays with the site.

Bedford Borough Council is applying for planning permission to establish a site at the junction of Paula Radcliffe Way and Clapham Road behind Sainsbury’s superstore. Up until 1994 there was a gypsy and traveller site on the land but it was closed that year by the now defunct Bedfordshire County Council.

The Fairhill site would include 14 pitches, 14 day units, a manager’s office, access road, fencing and ancillary works.

As reported in our sister paper Bedfordshire on Sunday in February, due to issues with water and drainage the Meadow Lane site, which was given planning permission last year, has been delayed.

As a result the authority is looking at Fairhill as an alternative although the council claims it is still working to bring forward Meadow Lane as a temporary stopping point.

Cllr Louise King, for Harpur ward, said: “While we understand there is a requirement for a well managed gypsy and traveller site within the borough, it is our view that Meadow Lane remains the best opportunity to deliver this and we aren’t convinced that the opportunity for developing it has been fully explored.”

Harpur Resident Ian Nicholls added: “I expect an open, full and frank public discussion to ensure that this proposal is properly looked at. Local residents must have their views listened to, especially as the former traveller site at this location had difficulties.

“I believe there are sound planning reasons to refuse Fairhill.”

Councillor Sarah-Jayne Holland, said: “There is an urgent need to deliver further gypsy and traveller provision in the borough in order to meet the local need as well as take advantage of the funding provided by the Homes and Communities Agency. The work on Fairhill will continue alongside the work on Meadow Lane and whichever project can be taken forward the quickest will be progressed.”

What do you think? Let us know by emailing kathryn.cain@bedsonsunday.com or on Twitter @Kathryn_Cain @bedfordnews

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2 comments

  • RustyK  |  April 08 2013, 10:10AM

    Google is not that reliable. It was Fairhill Brickworks and next to the site of Bedford Utd (who played at Fairhill Park). This bit is now Fairfield and has the supermarket in it. The site (next to the railway and petrol station)is not suitable for housing and people should complain to the Borough Council.

  • Bedfordshire On Sunday  |  April 07 2013, 5:09PM

    The area is not called Fairhill, and never has been. The name Fairhill does not appear on any reliable mapping source, but Cut-throat lane (the same location) does. The council are attempting to cover up the true name of the proposed site because it conjures all the memories of the extreme levels of crime which originated from it. The name Cut-throat Lane is actually very old. The original status of the site had been there for decades, and crime built up over time. When considering the irony of the original name, it seems logical that the unimaginative council would go to great lengths to coin the term 'fair' into the bargain, not to mention the fact that the site is completely flat. The name Fairhill is just a coined term for the geographical area, and I should make it clear to all who are reading this that it is a cover up for the scenario I have just explained. If you do not believe me, go onto Google maps now and type in Fairhill Bedford Uk. Cut-throat Lane is the first thing you will see...

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