Posted by: dorsetcpre | May 30, 2012

County Gypsy & Traveller Consultation 2012

Traveller site nr BeaminsterDorset CPRE Response

Evidence from public responses we have received express an overwhelming feeling that the current ‘targets’ for the county are too high, although there is broad acceptance of existing long-standing sites. Many respondents feel that the county policy should differentiate between a settled gypsy population; those who do travel from place to place to make a living and what might loosely be termed ‘new age’ travellers. Hearsay responses suggest that the different groups have differing needs and that attempts to site these groups together may lead to tension.

CPRE Nationally currently has the following policy objectives that the Dorset branch supports:

  • Replacing Circular 01/06: Planning for Gypsy and Traveller sites with new ‘light-touch’ guidance
  • Introducing stronger planning enforcement powers to help local authorities deal with breaches of planning control and limiting the opportunities for retrospective planning applications
  • Encouraging local authorities to provide, in consultation with the local community, an appropriate number of traveller sites that reflect local and historic demand. Exploring incentives for site provision and innovative ways in which traveller sites can be funded and maintained
  • Co-ordinating action across Government to tackle the discrimination and poor social outcomes faced by gypsies and travellers and seeking to remove barriers that are stopping them from taking part in society.

Traveller site at Herrison, nr DorchesterDorset CPRE’s views on the local consultation

Dorset CPRE –
Questions the level of provision for the county suggested in the consultation document. The allocation is almost double that of some neighbouring counties.

We believe that any development ( gipsy or otherwise ) should protect Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Green Belt land and, generally, not be outside of defined community ‘envelopes’ unless a case for exception can be made.

Brownfield sites should take precedent for development.

A case must be made for any new building that adequately demonstrates the local infrastructure is able to support an increase in population.

Any new development must be of good design and build quality. We do not want to see ‘second rate’ provision which will become an eyesore.

We would urge the county council’s gypsy liaison officer to investigate the use of commercial caravan sites to accommodate short-term travellers, rather than create new sites. Demand from the travelling community is often outside of the traditional holiday season, typically in the autumn and early spring.

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