More pitches for gypsies are needed by 2023
Council needs to locate 33 areas
SOUTH Bucks has to find 33 additional pitches for gypsies and travellers by 2023 – more than originally thought.
At first South Bucks District Council was told it had to provide an additional 31 pitches, with 18 to be provided by 2018 and the remaining by 2023.
But since the summer the policy has been updated with the area now requiring 33, with 22 by 2018 and 11 by 2023.
The county’s four district councils published A Gypsy and Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Accommodation Needs Assessment following guidance from the government, which aims to ensure members of the travelling community have access to decent accommodation in 2013.
The study looked at the need for traveller accommodation over the next 10 years so suggestions can be made about the number of pitches or plots required to meet that need.
A consultation was held early this year asking for ideas and a plan is expected to be adopted by 2015.
The South Bucks plan does not yet include potential sites, as none have been identified.
Chiltern is further along in the process and has set out potential sites.
The news that the council now had to find more pitches arose during a planning meeting, when councillors were reminded of the government requirement when they consider three applications for temporary permission for gypsy pitches.
Temporary permission for four years was granted for Mansion Lane, despite a planning inspector saying it would be ‘harmful’ to Cole Valley Park.
Temporary permission was also granted for Thorney Lane North for mobile homes and keeping horses, along with a single pitch at Little Sutton Lane.
Planning officer Tony Franklin said: “The plan is expected to be adopted by 2015 but no sites have been identified yet.
“It would make sense to consider these applications on their own merit, but with the greater need in mind.”
Iver councillor Wendy Matthews said: “Having so many of the sites in Iver should not be the way we do this, they should be distributed around Bucks.
“I think its unfair.”
What do you think? Where do you think pitches could be placed? Email bucksnews@ trinitysouth.co.uk or tweet us @Get_Bucks.