Travellers’ plan would see more permanent sites

Land east of Mayles Lane at Knowle
Land east of Mayles Lane at Knowle
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FEARS have been raised that plans for permanent traveller sites could lead to more problems.

Winchester City Council’s cabinet has published a draft plan, which includes making some existing sites permanent.

But because other travellers would not be allowed to use those sites, Fareham Borough Council leader Sean Woodward believes the move could be counter-productive.

He said: ‘The issue around it is that it is not positioned for travellers to use it who are travelling so they can be moved off public ground.

‘They leave the most awful rubbish which is a really big issue and costs a lot to clear.

‘It seems to provide permanent homes so it does really defeats the object of being a transit site.’

The plan proposes that existing sites will be retained and – where appropriate – those with temporary planning permission are granted permanent consent.

Sites close to Fareham area include Tynefield in Whiteley, which has been a permanent site for travellers for many years, and land East of Mayles Lane in Knowle which is a temporary site.

But the council is looking to grant planning permission for permanent traveller and gypsy accomodation on the Mayles Lane site, which is in close proximity to the proposed development land of Welbourne.

Winchester City councillor and portfolio holder for the built environment Caroline Brook said: ‘With the adoption of Local Plan Part 2 in April setting out the gypsy and traveller requirement to be met within the district, the council has made significant progress in preparing a positive strategy that will provide certainty to both the travelling and settled communities.

‘Our draft traveller plan takes a pragmatic approach to identifying sites and we’re pleased to be able to publish this for consultation over the following weeks.

‘We would encourage all those with an interest to contribute.’

A spokesperson for the city council said: ‘We’re really pleased people have engaged with us but we are looking for more responses .’

The consultation will close on September 4.