Campaigners step up Gypsy site fight

A new traveller site has been proposed on the Rotherham Streetpride site at the bottom of Dog Kennel Hill, South Anston
A new traveller site has been proposed on the Rotherham Streetpride site at the bottom of Dog Kennel Hill, South Anston

A controversial plan to create a gypsy and traveller site in an old quarry on Dog Kennel Hill near Kiveton is attracting widespread opposition.

Local people have formed Kiveton Park Station Action Group, which will deliver hundreds of objections to Rotherham Council at the town hall next Friday 26th July.

Council planners say the site, currently a Rotherham Council Streetpride depot, is the best option for a traveller site to serve the whole of Rotherham.

It features in the draft Local Plan, which is currently out for public consultation until 29th July and has space for 10 pitches, or 20 to 30 caravans.

But it would only become a traveller camp if someone wanted to develop it.

The site falls within the Anston parish. And a recent public meeting at Anston Parish Hall saw action group members voice their objections.

They attracted unanimous support from councillors who also resolved to formally object to the borough council.

The action group said it objected on the grounds that development would contravene green belt planning regulations, that the council had not considered more appropriate uses for the site, like car parking for the nearby railway station, and that the area should be preserved for continued recreational activities on the adjacent Chesterfield Canal. The Chesterfield Canal Trust is also formulating its own objection.

A spokesman said the former quarry site had huge historical significance. It is famous for having supplied the stone that built the Houses of Parliament.

Furthermore, the group claims gypsies and travellers would be discriminated against because they claim the site is not fit for human habitation, being close to a railway line and within steep sided quarry walls.

A spokesman for the Irish Traveller Movement in Britain said: “We really hope councils are putting forward suitable sites to fulfil the statutory duty to plan for sufficient provision for local Gypsies and travellers.”