Trav­eller sites set to be sold off

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

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.

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