Traveller sites set to be sold off
GYPSY and traveller sites in Bucks are set to be sold off as the county council looks to tighten its purse strings.
Five sites in Bucks – Green Park in Amersham, Mansion Lane in Iver, the Orchards in Chalfont St Peter, Bottom Waltons in Burnham and Wapseys Wood in Gerrards Cross – will all be sold following a decision made by the county council last week.
The decision comes following a report into the council’s ownership of the sites, which says that due to overall budget pressures and lack of funding to invest in the sites, the best long-term option is to offer them for sale to either residents or other potential landlords.
The council has not had a legal obligation to provide the accommodation since 2004, but has continued to do so.
However, it has now taken the decision to dispose and of them and is now making preparations for their sale.
Legally, people living on the sites will still have protection for their homes under the Mobile Homes Act 1983.
Warren Whyte, cabinet member for planning and environment, said the council had worked with site residents closely in the lead up to the decision.
He said: “We recognise that this is a potentially controversial move and that it will be unsettling for residents.
“But in the end, it’s the only viable option to properly safeguard the sites in the longer term.
“When it comes to marketing, the current planning conditions for each site will be made absolutely clear.”
He added: “I want to make sure that, whoever the new owners or managers might be, that site residents have the same level of confidence that they had when we managed the sites.”
A further formal cabinet member decision will be made before any final sales are confirmed.