Kiveton: A thousand objections to traveller site

Guardian News
Guardian News

One thousand objections to a proposed Gypsy and traveller site near Kiveton will be handed to Rotherham Council tomorrow (Friday 26th July).

Members of Kiveton Park Station Action Group will deliver the stack of responses to the town hall.

Rother Valley MP Kevin Barron has already backed the campaigners.

People from Anston, Kiveton, Wales, Todwick, Harthill and Thorpe Salvin are among those who have objected to the proposal which is part of the council’s Local Plan for future development across the borough.

A spokesman said objectors had focused on beliefs that the proposals contravene green belt planning regulations and fail to consider more appropriate uses of the site.

They have suggested alternatives like much-needed car parking for the adjacent railway station and recreational activities along the Chesterfield Canal.

The quarry site, which forms the footprint of the proposed traveller site, is famous for supplying the stone that built the Houses of Parliament and is of historic interest.

The action group also claims Gypsies and travellers would be discriminated against if the proposal went ahead because they say the site is unfit for human habitation.

A site visit was organised on Monday 22nd July.

“Having walked around the site, we are even more concerned,” said action group committee member Neil Munday.

“There are health and safety issues wherever you look. Besides the quarry walls being very high, with tall trees overhanging on all sides, the busy railway line runs only a couple of metres away.”

“But there is also a large and very deep, stagnant pond, and an open tunnel from the site running under the railway track to the canal.”

“Children will be at risk also from the electricity sub station that is at the site entrance and which would prevent the narrow and blind entrance being widened.”

“The council itself says that the quarry would not be considered for any other habitation, so why is it considered fit for travellers?”

The group also believe problems traditionally faced by travelling communities like poor health and reduced educational and social opportunities would be made worse by living in the quarry.

Neil added: “The quarry is very gloomy, adding to the sense of isolation from the local community.”

“Local amenities - shops, schools or health facilities are not within reasonable walking distance.”

“Mums with young children will struggle as the site is between two steep hills to get to any local facilities.”

“We are sure the council doesn’t intend to segregate travellers from the community, but if they pursue this proposal, that is in effect what they will be doing.”

• Kiveton Park Station Action Group comprises residents, amenity users and business owners living and working in South Anston and Kiveton Park.

It meets every Monday at 7.30pm in the Station Hotel opposite Kiveton Park Station. Everyone is welcome.