Central Bedfordshire Council have opened a public formal consultation regarding their Draft Gypsy and Traveller Local Plan. This plan would set out how they will meet the accommodation needs of Gypsy and Traveller and Travelling Showpeople in the area until 2031.
The Consultation is open until Monday 1st July 2013.
Visit http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/planning/strategic-planning/gypsy-and-traveller-plan.aspx to record your views and for more information.
Gypsy and Traveller Plan: Pitch Numbers and Site Assessment
On April 11th Central Beds Council Sustainable Communities Committee considered a report that sets out the target for pitches to 2031 for Gypsies and Travellers and Travelling Showpeople in Central Bedfordshire and proposes a methodology for assessing sites for allocation to accommodate these pitches.
The Committee received a report from the Executive Member for Sustainable Communities, Strategic Planning and Economic Development that outlined the target number of pitches to 2031 for Gypsies and Travellers and Travelling Showpeople in Central Bedfordshire. The report also proposed a methodology for assessing sites for allocation to accommodate these pitches.
In addition to the report the Principal Planning Officer explained the pitch requirements and clarified that the 3% and 1.5% compound growth rates had previously been identified in the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment and the East of England Plan respectively. The compound growth rates had been applied to the total number of current sites in Bedfordshire as at 2011 to provide the number of pitches required as a result of growth.
In response to the report a Councillor queried why the Council was seeking to identify pitch requirements to 2031 when guidance suggested Councils should identify 5, 10 or 15 years supply. Officers responded that guidance had been issued following the publication of the report. However, the Gypsy and Traveller pitch requirement had been aligned to the Council’s Development Strategy, which set out planned development up to 2031.
In response to queries from another Councillor it was commented that positive work had been undertaken at the Gypsy and Traveller site at Greenacres, where with the assistance of a liaison Gypsies and Travellers had been integrated with the community. The Council encouraged integration with the local community on sites throughout the area. Improvements had also been made in relation to issues such as drainage and landscaping that had been a problem on sites in the past. The Committee was also informed that sites identified in the former Gypsy and Traveller Plan for the North of Central Bedfordshire would be ‘banked’ for future site allocations. Consideration to the proximity of proposed Gypsy and Traveller sites and the settled community would be given as applications were submitted.
MMAG suggests that we need to monitor this development because it means that all the sites which were previously rejected are now back on the table for consideration!
Please see the minutes of the Central Beds Council meeting 4th January 2010 where the potential shortlist of travellers sites was discussed and the Marston Moreteyne site removed at http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/modgov/ieListDocuments.asp?CId=648&MId=3260&Ver=4 then click on ‘printed minutes’
Our thanks again to:
Our Councillors Roger and Mike
Parish Chairman Mark and
Resident and MMAG supporter David
..who all worked so hard to to present a strong argument against the site proposed for the village. We still need to keep watch on the debate as any site could suddenly find itself back in the frame!
MMAG encourages local residents concerned about traveller sites to attend the following meeting:-
SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
4th January 2010 10.00am
at Council Chamber, Priory House, Monks Walk, Chicksands, Shefford
MMAG understands from Central Bedfordshire Council that issues of traveller sites has been considered by the Development Strategy Task Force. The Task Force is a Member working party with no decision-making powers so it hasn’t reached the public domain yet. They’ve been working on a shortlist to recommend to the Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee at the public meeting on 4th January 2010.
A shortlist of sites will be considered at that meeting that will then be subject to consultation. This consultation will start on 25 January and will last 6 weeks. Following that consultation, Members will reconsider the list of sites before submitting the document to the Secretary of State. A Public Examination will then take place in front of an independent Planning Inspector.
At the Task Force’s meeting on 7th December there were debates about the sites options and you will see that the only “ideal site” of all those identified is……..Marston Moreteyne, Woburn Road. Please Click Here for Map and Scoring.
The Woburn Road site is the highest scoring of the 13 shortlisted sites (Please Click Here to view all sites and scores) and according to the Councillors who are on the group is an ‘ideal;’ site. This is the start of a very lengthy process that will conclude in Autumn 2011!
The meeting on 4th January 2010 is the first meeting open to the public and Travellers Sites is Item 11 on the agenda (Please Click Here for Full Agenda)
The following are the Councillors who will be attending the meeting to approve the short list of sites:-
firstname.lastname@example.org Vice Chairman
|Gypsy and Traveller Development Plan Document for the Former Mid Bedfordshire area Site Selection Criteria|
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