Villagers set to rally against plans to construct travellers' site (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting DST to 80360 or email us
Villagers set to rally against plans to construct travellers' site in Heighington
VILLAGERS are expected to rally against proposals to build a travellers' site when they gather at a public meeting tomorrow (Wednesday, March 6).
Controversial proposals to convert two fields on Walworth Road near Heighington into a private Gypsy site have been met with concern from local residents.
The plans, submitted to Darlington Borough Council in early February, could see the fields transformed into sites suitable for the stationing of caravans and will be built to accommodate at least two mobile homes and two touring caravans.
The application also allows for the construction of two amenity buildings, a septic tank and an access road.
The council has received more than 50 letters of objection since the plans were lodged less than a month ago. Key concerns raised include traffic congestion, increased pressure on local amenities, impact on crime levels and the potentially negative aesthetic impact of the development.
One villager appealed to the council to turn down the application in order to preserve the character of the rural area and to deter future developers.
Their letter said: “We appeal to the Planning Authority not to approve these applications otherwise it will encourage even more attempts to destroy the enjoyment of our natural amenities. Our countryside and agricultural land must be preserved for future generations.
“If these applications are approved...it will open the flood gates to developers demanding to build everywhere.”
Some residents also expressed concern about having travellers living in close proximity to the village, with one villager stating that gatherings of travellers on the site in question had led to problems in the past.
The letter said: “Previously, huge gatherings of travellers have congregated on this site for horse trading and fairs...There have been numerous bare back riders racing up and down Walworth Road causing danger, chaos and damage to the village. This sort of irresponsible behaviour must not be encouraged by permitting further development on these fields.”
A public meeting to discuss the proposals will be held at Heighington Village Hall tomorrow night (Wednesday March 6) from 7.30pm.
More Darlington Borough Council News