Residents’ fury at gypsy caravan site

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

Residents near a proposed gypsy camp in Kiveton are furious, saying the move will slash house prices in the area and bring no end of ‘trouble’.

Rotherham Council has earmarked its Streetpride depot, at the bottom of Dog Kennel Hill, for a gypsy and traveller site.

It is part of the authority’s draft Local Plan which sets out how development could shape the borough over the next 15 years.

The 0.6 hectare site has been chosen above two others in Rotherham - New Orchard Lane in Thurcroft and part of Warren Vale at Rawmarsh - to host travellers.

It would hold space for 10 pitches, or 20 to 30 caravans.

But people living nearby are up in arms.

“I feel we are being dumped on,” said Holmes Field Close resident Rita Straw.

“They say this is an industrial area but I refute that. If you look out across my back garden it’s rolling green countryside. That’s why we bought this house.”

“I suppose I’m a nimby, but no-one would want something like this so close to home.”

Mrs Straw said a big concern was the effect on house prices.

“What chance will we have of selling this house now? We pay high Council Tax rates at the moment, despite being on a private road - will the council reduce them?” she said.

“Meanwhile they are going to put a travellers’ site down the road - people who do not pay contributions.”

“You shouldn’t generalise - I’m sure there are some lovely traveller people. But they get a bad press and that concerns me.”

Several houses are up for sale on Dog Kennel Hill, and Mrs Straw said she knew some people were already struggling to get interest from buyers.

She added: “We can’t just sit back and let this happen. There is a lot of opposition from people round here and we’ll be making it known to the council.”

One man who lives on The Haven estate, even closer to the proposed site, said the travelling community’s reputation worried him.

“Everyone knows where there are travellers there is trouble,” he said.

“The police don’t want to know about the nuisance, they don’t pay taxes and they don’t live by our rules. I’ve got nothing against the people themselves.”

“When we moved here 10 years ago we never expected to have a traveller site on our doorstep. Nobody did.”

“Everyone around here is disgusted. We’ll all be going to the public meetings to let them know.”