Summer travellers site opens in Dorset

Dorset Echo: CAMP: Travellers at the Weymouth park and ride site in June - now a new site at Piddlehinton has opened for visiting groups CAMP: Travellers at the Weymouth park and ride site in June - now a new site at Piddlehinton has opened for visiting groups

TRAVELLERS camping illegally in Dorset can now be directed to a new council-run site near Dorchester.

Dorset County Council’s summer-only transit site is now ready to use at Piddlehinton.

Work has been going on over the last few weeks to get it ready including installing CCTV cameras in the area to reassure firms at the enterprise park opposite, a planning condition requirement.

DCC is arranging to put a portable building on the land for management plus portable toilets.

All facilities will be temporary and removed when the site is not in use.

It will cater for up to 25 caravans between March and August until 2016, and will offer police somewhere to move visiting groups who come to Dorset and camp illegally. Having such a facility also allows authorities to act more swiftly to evict travellers if they refuse to leave unauthorised sites.

Planning permission was given at a heated meeting in May which was attended by local residents who spoke against the proposal.

Later, the Gypsy Council likened the site to a ‘concentration camp’, criticising the planned security measures.

Enterprise park traders have also spoke of their concerns.

But it has been welcomed by councillors in Weymouth who say it should stop the problem of travellers setting up camps in car parks.

Weymouth’s park and ride site has been a regular stopping off point for travellers in recent years, including last month when concerns were expressed that all visitors should have to pay for their stay.

Borough councillor for Radipole Bill White said: “I’m really glad this new facility is up and running, it’s very welcome.

“It’s been very difficult in the past when groups have come here and camped illegally, there’s concern for a variety of reasons.

“With the opening of this site it means groups can be directed there. It makes things straight forward and allows the police to act right away.”

County councillor for Lodmoor David Mannings added: “It’s been a long time coming. I’m glad it’s finally open.

“It will speed up the process when dealing with travellers.”

Comments (6)

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4:09pm Mon 7 Jul 14

shy talk says...

Might be a step in the right direction? However I think the taxpayers need and have a right to know if the “Travellers” will be paying for this facility. Or as I suspect we will be paying for free accommodation.
Might be a step in the right direction? However I think the taxpayers need and have a right to know if the “Travellers” will be paying for this facility. Or as I suspect we will be paying for free accommodation. shy talk
  • Score: 16

5:29pm Mon 7 Jul 14

TenBobDylanThomasHardy says...

I think they have their own Accomodation by way of their caravans.
I think they have their own Accomodation by way of their caravans. TenBobDylanThomasHardy
  • Score: 0

5:33pm Mon 7 Jul 14

Get a grip says...

Good they can now compleat my drive, they said they would come back last year.
Good they can now compleat my drive, they said they would come back last year. Get a grip
  • Score: 4

6:14pm Mon 7 Jul 14

ksmain says...

The Gypsy Council have likened it to a concentration camp? Perhaps they should count themselves lucky that a place has been provided for them? I mean - it isn't as if they are paying towards it or to tidy up the mess they leave behind!! I am sure they could pay for a site to be developed given the apparent wealth they do have - like the brand new fairly high value cars I saw recently in the place one or two had put themselves on the Lufton Trading estate in Yeovil recently?
The Gypsy Council have likened it to a concentration camp? Perhaps they should count themselves lucky that a place has been provided for them? I mean - it isn't as if they are paying towards it or to tidy up the mess they leave behind!! I am sure they could pay for a site to be developed given the apparent wealth they do have - like the brand new fairly high value cars I saw recently in the place one or two had put themselves on the Lufton Trading estate in Yeovil recently? ksmain
  • Score: 3

7:19pm Mon 7 Jul 14

Kingeraak says...

It won't stop them ILLEGALLY parking for FREE and receiving NO FINE at Weymouths P&R...
It won't stop them ILLEGALLY parking for FREE and receiving NO FINE at Weymouths P&R... Kingeraak
  • Score: 8

7:24pm Mon 7 Jul 14

CoogarUK.com says...

Illegal 'travellers' encampment adjacent to the West Stafford for two years or more yet the council does nothing because they have a 'duty of care'. How about their duty of care to taxpayers?
Illegal 'travellers' encampment adjacent to the West Stafford for two years or more yet the council does nothing because they have a 'duty of care'. How about their duty of care to taxpayers? CoogarUK.com
  • Score: 12

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