CREEKMOOR residents are outraged after Borough of Poole began clearing land being considered for a controversial traveller stopping site, before it has gone before the planning committee.
Irate residents, who are complaining about a lack of consultation and democracy over the chosen sites, are more than ever convinced that the council has decided to forge ahead regardless.
Two possible sites on land at Marshes End, Creekmoor and off Broadstone Way have been put forward and planning permission for 12 pitches at the former site is due to be sought in March.
However council workmen have been spotted on the site clearing it of undergrowth – although Borough of Poole denies that any construction work is underway.
Creekmoor resident Terry Hughes said: “This deceitful and disgusting behaviour by our council makes me feel ashamed to be a Poole resident.”
He said the council had caused great distress to many elderly residents and it was now becoming clear that, “Creekmoor was always going to be the target for this, no matter what obstacles were going to be encountered.”
Another Creekmoor resident Edward Webster said he was “disappointed” that work appeared to have been started without planning permission.
“The application does not go to committee until next month so one assumes the outcome is already known,” he said. “I am told the work is to prevent birds nesting which would delay development.”
And Terry Stewart, of Dorset Council for the Protection of Rural England has called for work to be stopped until Dorset Wildlife Trust evaluates the site.
“When the park and ride site was approved, I understood that the wood next to it and the marsh were designated as protected,” he said.
“So it is wrong to clear the site until the full public consultation and the planning approval processes have been completed.”
Ward councillor Judy Butt said: “There is concern by residents that Borough of Poole are setting a poor example by starting work on the site at cost to council tax payers before planning permission has been granted.”
Shaun Robson, head of environmental and consumer protection said: “We can confirm to residents that no construction work has started on the Marshes End site and no materials have been delivered.
“The only action that has been taken so far relates to site clearance in preparation for site surveys which will be carried out to support the planning application.”
He said building materials that had been delivered to the neighbouring park and ride site were for a Three Towns Travel project and would be there temporarily.