Villagers say ‘no way’ to showmen site plans

Residents at Fitzwilliam are angry about a proposed showmens site.  (h610c430)

Residents at Fitzwilliam are angry about a proposed showmens site. (h610c430)

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Angry villagers have stepped up their fight to stop a showmen’s site from being built on greenbelt land in Fitzwilliam.

Almost 1,100 people have now objected to the plans for residential caravans, storage and maintenance of vehicles and equipment at the site on Newstead Lane.

Residents at Fitzwilliam are angry about a proposed showmens site.  (h610e430)

Residents at Fitzwilliam are angry about a proposed showmens site. (h610e430)

They say the land should be preserved and that the showmen’s site would create, traffic chaos and devalue their properties.

More than 150 people attended a public meeting last week to raise their fears about the application - submitted by Renny Mulhearn.

Since the meeting an action committee has been formed to stop the application being passed.

Committee member, Alan Wileman, 67, of Newstead Lane, said: “We’re not objecting to the people as we don’t know them.

“What we are saying is we don’t want anything to be built on this land.

“There are too many concerns for this to be passed.”

But Mr Mulhearn, 47, a planning and education officer for the Showmen’s Guild, said: “I am, and always have, been willing to meet with residents to discuss their concerns.

“This development will have its own internal site rules. Some of the rules we plan to have are that the land is solely for showmen’s guild members only, nothing will be permitted over a certain height and no HGV access to site during certain hours.

“The Showmen’s Guild will also have its own rules covering the site and surrounding area.

“This site will not cost the rate payers anything. It is solely financed by showmen alone.”

Hemsworth Town Council is also backing the villagers and has submitted its own objection, outlining 11 points including the schemes non-compliance with the Local Development Framework, highways safety, flood risk and the fact the land is greenbelt.

Town council leader, Coun Tony Upson, said: “Showmen operate a business and should be based on commercial or industrial sites.

“The use of any greenbelt land should only be considered in exceptional circumstances and a showmen’s site does not fall into this category.”

Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett has also objected and has asked Wakefield Council to undertake a full environmental impact assessment before planning consent is given to the application.

People now have until Friday, August 1 to submit their objections and supporting comments to Wakefield Council.

Hemsworth Town Council is holding another public meeting about the application at Hemsworth Miners’ Social Club (the Pit Club), Fitzwilliam, on Wednesday, July 30 at 7pm.

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