26 additional gypsy and traveller pitches needed in Uttlesford over next 20 years

18:23 23 July 2014

Uttlesford District Council headquarters on London Road, Saffron Walden.

Uttlesford District Council headquarters on London Road, Saffron Walden.

Archant

Uttlesford District Council must find space for 26 more gypsy and traveller pitches over the next 20 years, according to a new report.

The number pales in comparison to neighbouring districts in Essex – but there is a possibility that if other authorities cannot cater for pitches in their area that Uttlesford may have to take on an additional share.

There are currently 45 pitches in Uttlesford, mostly in the south of the district, which cater for one mobile home and one touring caravan per pitch.

It has not been decided where the 26 additional pitches will go – that will depend on the outcome of a commissioned report and public consultation.

Peter Brett Associates has been commissioned to carry out a capacity assessment of all existing sites within the district and assess those sites proposed as part of the ‘Call for Sites’ in 2012, before making recommendations to the council.

A public consultation is likely to be held in the autumn.

Cabinet member for environmental services, Councillor Susan Barker, told the Reporter gypsy and traveller sites were often met by fierce resistance from residents but that the council had a legal duty to provide appropriate accommodation.

She said: “Gypsies and travellers already in Uttlesford have families and when their children want to get a place of their own they want to be near their family, as is the case with everybody else.

“Providing an extra 26 pitches by 2033 is not an insurmountable challenge – what we do need to do is to be realistic and plan.”

She added: “This is a challenging topic and causes a lot of debate, for both the settled and traveller communities. We will be consulting residents, parish and town councillors, as well as key stakeholders, throughout this process.”

Assistant director of planning, Andrew Taylor, confirmed there was a chance Uttlesford could end up with more than 26 pitches if, taking the example of Epping Forest - which has 92 per cent greenbelt land - a council could not provide for its requirement.

He said: “Each districts needs to do an assessment of potential sites and if it cannot find enough then it may need to talk to neighbouring authorities.

“It’s something to be aware of but we are not worried about it now.”

The need to provide additional pitches follows an Essex-wide Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (GTAA), a study which sets out the quantity of new gypsy and traveller pitches that are required to be delivered by each local authority area in the county.

Essex Planning Association spent 18 months producing the report, which was jointly commissioned by Uttlesford District Council and used a specialist gypsy and traveller research organisation.

The report includes comprehensive local need assessments and detailed studies, looks at existing provision across Essex, and assesses the accommodation and housing related needs of gypsies, travellers and travelling showpeople until 2033.

Of the 14 districts in Essex, Uttlesford is accommodating a modest number of additional pitches, behind Basildon (240), Epping Forest (112), Thurrock (104), Brentwood (84), Chelmsford (55), Maldon (41) and Braintree (40).

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Dunmow Broadcast visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Dunmow Broadcast staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Dunmow Broadcast account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Yesterday, 16:07
Elaine Freeman, who has been cleared of attempted murder, with a picture of her son, Nigel, who was killed serving in Afghanistan.

A grieving mother, whose soldier son was killed in Afghanistan, has been cleared of trying to murder her husband who had filed for divorce.

Thu, 10:00
A large number of parents and toddlers turned out to celebrate 20 years of Buffy Bus.

Toddlers and their parents celebrated the 20th birthday of Uttlesford’s only playbus, by getting on board last Thursday with Buffy balloons and the eating of a blue, vehicular cake.

Thu, 09:00
Dave Sissens, 40, of High Roding, is following up his trek to the North Pole for charity by running 13 marathons back-to-back.

Two years after raising £28,000 for charity by hiking to the North Pole, a High Roding man is to take his latest crazy feat of endurance – 13 marathons back-to-back from Paris to London.

Wed, 18:23
District councillor for Thaxted, Martin Foley, said

“People power” and canine resistance have been called upon to oppose the latest application to build 100 houses in Thaxted.

E-edition

Most read stories