Huge response to Traveller site consultations

Scott Road, Kettering, one of the proposed sites for Travellers
Scott Road, Kettering, one of the proposed sites for Travellers

More than 1,200 people sent letters, emails and comments to Kettering Council as part of a consultation to decide where dozens of Travellers’ plots should be sited in the borough.

The council said it had received 1,240 responses to proposals to increase the number of pitches for Travellers by 37 over the next two decades until 2031.

Ten pitches have already been identified, but as part of the consultation, the council identified eight main areas where plots could be located, including Scott Road, Beatrice Road and Crown Street in Kettering, Highcroft Farm in Broughton, Harrington Road in Rothwell, off Finedon Road in Burton Latimer, off Stoke Albany Road in Desborough and Springfields, which is north-west of Braybrooke.

The consultation closed on July 15 and Kettering Council says no decision is likely to be reached until next year at the earliest.

A spokesman for Kettering Council this week said the responses were being assessed.

She added: “Subject to the time it takes to carry out the assessment, we hope to take the matter to committee in the autumn.”

The next stage will see a Site Specific Proposals document produced, which will have more details about the preferred sites.

The spokesman said: “The next stage will be production of the plan, between August this year and March 2013.

“There will then be another consultation in April next year and the documents will be submitted to the relevant Secretary of State in November 2014.

“The plans will be examined in public in February 2015 and will be adopted in September 2015.”

Kettering Council hosted a number of well-attended consultation events in Kettering, Desborough and Burton Latimer to give residents an opportunity to see the plans and comment further.

An impromptu public meeting was also held at the Midland Band Club in Kettering which was attended by about 200 people.

Sites identified

Kettering Council has been tasked by the Government to find 37 pitches for Travellers between now and 2031.

However, 10 of these have already been identified, meaning the recent consultation is dealing with potential sites for the remaining 27.

Of the 10 sites earmarked, seven pitches are set to be opened in Stoke Albany Road, Desborough, later this year and three more elsewhere in the borough are also planned.