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Travellers’ site under scrutiny
6:00am Wednesday 12th February 2014 in News
Dorset County Council has submitted a planning application for a temporary site for up to 25 caravans for three years.
The site proposed, on land adjacent to the Piddlehinton Enterprise Park, was used as a temporary site in the summer of 2012 when the county hosted the Olympic sailing events.
The council has submitted an application because a countywide plan for permanent sites in Dorset, which it has been working on in conjunction with other local councils, is not expected to be ready for adoption until 2017.
Proposals for a site at the park and ride facility in Weymouth were mooted but subsequently dropped.
The Piddlehinton site will be in operation for six months a year until August 2017 and will provide the authorities with a facility where they can direct those who set up unauthorised encampments around the county.
It would become the second traveller site in operation in the village, which already has a permanent site.
Local county councillor Jill Haynes said she understood that a transit site was needed and Dorset did need somewhere to move unauthorised campers on to.
However, she questioned whether Piddlehinton was the right location for this site and vowed that if it is to go ahead she will be pushing for all available security measures to be put in place to alleviate the concerns of local residents and businesses.
Coun Haynes said: “As far as I’m concerned we do, I believe, have to have a site but I would rather it was not at Piddlehinton and I want security measures if we do have the site to make sure it is not an affliction on local residents.”
She said that, while the site worked ‘relatively satisfactorily’ during the Olympics, some members of the local community had raised concerns and she wanted to make sure there was as much CCTV in operation as possible as well as support from the police.
Coun Haynes said she doubted the site would provide the long term solution for a permanent traveller site and local councils needed to carefully consider the future locations of any sites.
She said: “I think there will need to be a permanent site per district council and a couple of additional transit sites perhaps.”
The plans can be viewed at dorsetforyou.com and comments can be submitted until March 14.
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