Cambs: traveller family wins four year fight for pitches permission

A HUNTINGDONSHIRE traveller has won his four-year fight to house his family and his chronically-sick parents on land he owns in Somersham.

Fred Adams had repeatedly been refused planning permission by councillors to develop the site, north of The Paddocks, off Chatteris Road – on one occasion in spite of support from professional planners and a recommendation for approval.

But after a three-day appeal earlier this year a Government planning inspector has ruled that Mr Adams should have permanent planning permission for a caravan and a mobile home on each of two plots on the land.

In spite of past accusations of malice, discrimination and worse on the part of some objectors, he has already started to offer olive branches to his new neighbours.

“I have already held out my hand to one of the neighbours as a goodwill gesture,” he told The Hunts Post yesterday (Tuesday). “We agreed to let bygones be bygones, and to move on and live together in harmony.

“We just want to be friends and get on with our lives and prove their fears were wrong. We are a decent family, and we want to live in harmony with our neighbours.”

His family was “over the moon” about the inspector’s ruling, he added.

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“I feel physically and emotionally drained, but I’m just happy that we were right. That has been proved by Eric Pickles [the Local Government Secretary] and his representative [the inspector].

“All the inspector did was to go over the same evidence [that Huntingdonshire District Council’s development management panel had considered before turning down the previous applications]. He agreed with the original officers’ recommendation.”

Mr Adams said it would be some time before final details of the development were agreed with council planners, but he hoped to have his parents installed on the site before next winter.

The four-year struggle to persuade the authorities to allow him to develop the site had been “a nightmare all the way,” he explained.

“But we have so many good friends in the area, including in Somersham, who have supported us. Without them, we would have been completely isolated and alone.”