Council considers legalising travellers' sites with no planning permission

By ADAM LAZZARI FENLAND District Council is considering legalising existing travellers pitches that have not been granted planning permission. The council is obliged by the Government to create 89 extra sites for travellers in the Fenland by 2011. This d

By ADAM LAZZARI

FENLAND District Council is considering legalising existing travellers' pitches that have been in place for many years but have never been granted formal planning permission

The council is obliged by the Government to create 89 extra pitches for travellers in the Fenland by 2011.

This demand is greater on Fenland than on any other district in Cambridgeshire.


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A council spokesman said: "We have an obligation under the Government's Regional Spatial Strategy to provide 89 more Travellers' pitches by 2011.

"To meet that target, we are currently looking at a number of options that are available to us. They include seeking to regularise the status of some existing, longstanding sites where there have been no problems and developing some new sites."

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The council spokesman said that areas all over the district would be considered but was unable to give exact locations at this stage.

The latest official figures, which are from 2006, show Fenland as having 183 authorised pitches.

By comparison Cambridge City has none, East Cambridgeshire has 59, Huntingdonshire has 20 and South Cambridgeshire has 203.

The Regional Spatial Strategy states that by 2011, 15 more pitches must be created in Cambridge City, 35 more in East Cambridgeshire, an extra 25 must be created in Huntingdonshire and 69 extra pitches are be created in South Cambridgeshire.

Plans have been made to a hold a traveller Christmas forum at Wisbech St Mary village hall on December 15 to promote traveller access to mainstream services.

December will also see the council's traveller team conduct the annual customer satisfaction survey among residents of existing travellers' sites, the outcome of which will be known in mid-January.

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