'Significant' rise in number of illegal traveller encampments - The Leamington Observer

'Significant' rise in number of illegal traveller encampments

Laura Kearns 18th Sep, 2017   0

A ‘SIGNIFICANT’ increase in the number of unauthorised traveller encampments has led councillors to call for a permanent site.

Parish, town and district councillors met at Leamington Town Hall to discuss the ‘pressing’ need for permanent and temporary gypsy and traveller sites.

District councillor and spokesman for development Alan Rhead says the number of unauthorised encampments have increased significantly over the last few years, impacting on public spaces and affecting residents who live nearby.

He said: “We need to approach this in a positive and proactive way collaboratively and explore options within the district to make land available for both temporary and permanent sites.

“There is evidence to suggest this can be done in a way which enables the gypsy and traveller community to live side by side with local residents satisfactorily.”

The councillor is now calling for residents to come forward wiith suggestions and says the problem will only get worse if action is not taken.

He added: “This is an opportunity to share positive suggestions and start making some progress with resolving the current situation, which will only get worse if we fail to take action.”

Under the Housing and Planning Act the district council is required to consider the needs of people ‘residing or resorting to the district with respect to the provision of sites on which caravans can be stationed’.

The council say it has investigated numerous sites in the past, which have not proved to be viable options.

Email [email protected] with suggestions.

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