Protest at Gypsy site plans in Warwick

Gypsies who returned to Myton Fields, Warwick., some weeks ago.
Gypsies who returned to Myton Fields, Warwick., some weeks ago.

Members of Chase Meadow Residents’ Assocation in Warwick are to stage a protest on Tuesday against eleventh hour plans for a new site for gypsies and travellers next to a sewage works on Stratford Road.

Several members of the association have been at pains to point out that travellers deserve permanent sites - if only to avoid the persistent time-consuming problems of illegal occupation of unsuitable land.

But town and district councillor Elizabeth Higgins said: “People believe the proposed site between the sewage works and the M40 is totally unsuitable.

“Apart from the noise and smell the travellers would be isolated from all other residential areas so integration into the wider community would be hampered. If we allowed gypsies and travellers to live on this site we would be treating them like second-class citizens - which is a terrible reflection on Warwick.”

Twenty sites had already been identified in the Local Plan but the one next to the Severn Trent sewage works was a late addition.

If agreed in principle, residents would have six weeks to take part in a public consultation that could potentially start in the middle of next month.

One man, who asked not to be named, said: “Everyone deserves somewhere to live but it seems to us the site selection process has been very opaque and heavily influenced by local politics.

“In a single round of public communication this additional site has been fast-tracked. It seems like one that would cause the least political hurt for the council but at the same time be wholly unsuitable for human habitation - either for houses or caravans.”