Potential traveller site near two Mansfield schools 'is safeguarding issue', residents say

Stuart Avenue, Forest Town.
Stuart Avenue, Forest Town.

A residents' group in Forest Town hit out at potential plans to build a permanent traveller site near their homes - calling its locality to two schools a "safeguarding" issue.

The Forest Town Neighbourhood Watch has raised concerns about one of fifteen proposed sites in Stuart Avenue, Forest Town, which has gone under consultation as part of plans to develop four permanent traveller sites across the district.

The proposed Forest Town site is close to the former playing grounds of Sherwood Hall secondary school, which was demolished and converted into Samworth Church Academy, and near the newly built Abbey Primary School.

And the group say residents are concerned about the plans because it is "in clear view" of the two schools' play areas, and says that it would be a "safeguarding issue" if approved.

A spokesman said: "The site in question would be right next to two schools and in clear view of their play areas, to which we believe is a safeguarding issue.

"It is too apparent and also behind elderly peoples' bungalows, again with clear view,

"The Forest Town community and neighbourhood watch are both trying to raise awareness about this, as there's still people in this area who have no internet and not much contact with the community. They are scared, and some are even unaware it's even happening."

The neighbourhood watch's concerns come as a group of travellers pitched up at Crown Medical Centre in Forest Town last week, causing staff to temporarily close the practice and advise patients to "re-book appointments".

There are also travellers pitched up at an open space in the Bellamy Road estate, with more than 15 caravans arriving on site either last night (August 11) or this morning (August 12).

The district-wide consultation on four permanent traveller sites is taking place until mid-September, and is expected to see sites developed for travellers, gypsies and travelling show people.

There will be a meeting at Forest Town Methodist Church, on Clipstone Road West, from 1pm until 7pm on Wednesday, August 21, where residents can air their views on the proposals.