Five sites earmarked in Gypsy and Traveller local plan

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Traveller sites are being considered in five locations around Potton.

Central Beds Council is discussing potential Gypsy and Traveller sites as part of its Gypsy and Traveller Local Plan.

Five tenants who rent council owned land in the Potton ward have been sent letters warning them that the land is being considered for a future site.

These potential sites are:

-Land north of Everton Road, west of Potton Road and north west of Potton, land east of Potton Road and south of Ram Farm

-Land north of Bury Hill, west of Sutton Road and east of Potton, Land south of Wrestlingworth Road and east of Sutton Road

-Land west of Cambridge Road and north of Dunton

-Land east of Biggleswade Road, west of Sutton, land west of Sutton Road and north of Sutton, land east of Sutton Road and east of Sutton

-Land south of Dunton Lane and west of Dunton, land south west of Park Corner Farm and south of Dunton Lane near Stratton Business Park, land south east of Park Corner Farm and south of Dunton Lane.

Central Beds ward councillor Adam Zerny said: “I understand people were very upset to receive these letters just before Christmas; the timing seems very poor.

“I am surprised to hear there are five proposed sites in and around Potton on the long list when there is already a large site in the town.”

Councillor Nigel Young, executive member for sustainable communities, said: “Let me be clear – no allocations have been decided yet. This is about meeting our statutory duty to provide pitches for the Gypsy and Traveller community and what we are ultimately looking at is pitch allocations, not sites.

“The full ‘long list’ has more than 30 possible sites across the whole of Central Bedfordshire. These possible sites are still going through rigorous highways, landscaping, flooding and public safety checks to determine their suitability for pitches.

“There is not a high proportion of pitches allocated to the Potton ward. The whole ward currently has around six per cent of the total pitches in Central Beds.”

This will be discussed by the council’s overview and scrutiny committee on Thursday, January 17 at 10am in the Chicksands headquarters. In February the committee will make a shortlist.

The public will be consulted in May or June this year. The final plan will be adopted in July 2014.