Dorset County Council has added eight sites to those being considered as potential gyspy and traveller sites.
Why are these sites being added to those under consideration?
In a report in September, the council's consultants said there were 150 new pitches needed between now and 2028.
There are 29 households already on the waiting list for a space on a public pitch, with another 59 households either homeless (usually in council housing) living in another household (caravan) or in an authorised encampment. The consultants estimate by 2028 another 63 households will need a pitch, along with the seven living on sites with temporary planning permission.
The report also identified a particular need for sites for travelling showpeople. These are measured in terms of plots, which has both residential and business uses and allows for the storage and repair of fairground equipment.
Gypsy and traveller sites are measured by in pitches - an area of land where a Gypsy or Traveller household can reside. Typically, this may have a building, parking space and one or more caravans, with sufficient space so that caravans up to 20 metres in length can be moved around.
These sites were all suggested for consideration by respondents to the DCCs initial list of potential sites.
Conygar Coppice, Okeford Fitzpaine
This site, owned by Dorset County Council, is already in use as an unauthorised traveller site. Formerly a landfill site, there are question marks over whether the site is suitable for residential use and how much it might cost to make it safe if not. It was first suggested as a potential site in 2004. If authorised, there would be 15 pitches for New Travellers.
Redundant Army Camp, Wyke Regis
This former army camp would be used for six pitches for Romany Gypsy or Irish Travellers.
This is a privately-owned former army camp on a sloping site with areas of open land interspersed with various low quality buildings, roadways and hard standings. The northern boundary adjoins the western edge of Wyke Regis.
Access is good although the council says some junction adjustments will be required at Camp Road/Mandeville Road. Some buildings would need to be demolished and landscaping would be required.
Former Guard House, Piddlehinton
Picture by Mike Smith, licensed with Creative Commons
Piddlehinton already has a temporary traveller camp which is being considered for permanent permission (see below), but this site, between the industrial estate and the B3143, is being considered for seven pitches for Romany gypsies or travelling showpeople. However the sloping nature means it might not be suitable for Travelling Showpeople.
Land at Piddlehinton Industrial Estate, Piddlehinton
This site already has temporary permission for 25 pitches as a summer transit site but is being considered appropriate for limited permanent development. It would have six pitches for Romany Gypsy, Irish Traveller or Travelling Showpeople, but works to make a suitable entrance may make the site unviable.
Old Chapel Yard, Marshwood
This is already used by Travelling Showpeople to store equipment, despite being in AONB next to a Grade 2 listed building. It is being considered for one plot for residential Travelling Showpeople use.
By the Ford, Sandford Orcas
This is an existing traveller site comprising a residential log style static caravan, outbuildings and pasture land, close to the village of Sandford Orcas. The council does not intend to increase the number of travellers here, but legitimise the existing occupant, who already has temporary planning permission.
Former highway north of B Road, West of West Stafford
This is a County Council owned site which they believe could house two traveller pitches. It's a former road which is already home to a group of caravans.
Land at Wigbeth Farm, Horton
The first of two Green Belt sites on the list, the council says it would restrict use to the summer months but suggests it would be suitable for 12 pitches for gypsies and travellers. The private-owned field, which has been put forward by the landowner, is next to a woodland Site of Nature Conservation Interest but council officers says this could be "managed by good site design". Access to local sevrices and bus routes is described as not good.
Land at Crumpets Drive
Being considered for one pitch for Gypsies and Travellers, this green belt site is among a clump of mature trees. But access is considered "sub-standard" and it could be expensive to buy the land needed to improve it.
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