A DETAILED survey of potential locations for 34 new gypsy and traveller sites identifying their suitability has angered residents who fear their land will be taken over.
The district council has been told by the Government that it has to find the new sites by 2011, and commissioned the survey to try and narrow down the options.
In Epping, the three potential sites at Wintry Park Paddock, Wintry Park Allotment and Lindsey Street have been described as well-located with a wide range of services and facilities, and good
public transport connections, including the Central Line.
Janet Shilton who helps run a car business next door to a potential site on land behind 137-167 Lindsey Street said: “It would absolutely slaughter us if this site goes ahead.
"We have been here since 1964 and if we had problems it would ruin our business. We had heard about the sites but didn't ever think it would go ahead.
"The road here is not suitable for the traffic it has at the moment and that has caused problems because it's so narrow, but to have an increase in traffic will make things even worse.”
Only one of the sites in Waltham Abbey, at Smallholding off Crooked Mile, has been identified as suitable.
The surveyor said: “The site, on the northern edge of Waltham Abbey offers an opportunity to assist in the improved quality of life of residents.”
A spokeswoman for Waltham Abbey Residents' Association, who lives close to the site said: “It's so awful. They want to live where I want to live but not pay to live there. I'm not surprised that
the other sites are unsuitable, it was idiotic to put them forward in the first place.”
The two sites in Theydon Bois in Coopersale Lane and the Abridge Road were considered to be ideally located with good access to a range of local services.
The district council has said that a planned public consultation on the survey will now be delayed as they are still trying to reach agreement on a timetable for establishing the new sites.
Council leader Di Collins said: “Councillors want to avoid causing unnecessary anxiety for local residents or waste time and money by prematurely embarking on the next stage of Traveller and Gypsy
To see the report in full click here