Residents alarmed by work at proposed gypsy and travellers' site
Protestors have been assured the construction of a proposed gypsy and travellers' camp has not started before being granted planning permission.
Residents were alarmed to see concrete and water valves had been installed in recent weeks at a site earmarked for managed pitches off Red Hill Way, Leicester.
The Leicester City Council-owned site, and another at Greengate Lane, Beaumont Leys, have been controversially selected by city mayor Sir Peter Soulsby to be developed as travellers' plots, but neither have been granted planning permission.
Members of the LE4 Action group, which has campaigned against the development of both sites, noticed the work and contacted the Mercury. They feared the council had jumped the gun by starting work before the planning application for the Red Hill Way site had been considered.
Cheap Van Insurance(Commercial & Private Use) - Contact Insure365...View details
Cheap Van Insurance(Commercial & Private Use) - Contact Insure365 01782 898188. Free Legal Protection Included Valued at £25.00
Terms: 1 Voucher Per Customer
Contact: 01782 898188
Valid until: Friday, June 21 2013
The Mercury contacted water company Severn Trent, which said the valves and the replacement of a damaged fire hydrant, were completely unrelated to any travellers' pitches.
A Severn Trent spokeswoman said the work followed widespread flooding of streets in Rushey Mead in December after a water main fractured.
She said: "We are carrying out work to raise valves to make access easier to improve our response times.
"I can see how the protesters may have thought it was linked to the proposed travellers' site, but it is entirely coincidental."
The spokeswoman said the council had requested Severn Trent workmen attend the site again tomorrow, but did not say why.
Sir Peter said: "I can assure people any work there has nothing to do with our proposals."
The council's planning committee is set to discuss the plans within the next few months. Ten pitches are planned at Red Hill Way.