Potential Gypsy and traveller sites being assessed by council

Kettering council has to assess potential Gypsy and traveller sites in the borough
Kettering council has to assess potential Gypsy and traveller sites in the borough
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Kettering council has said it is required by the Government to identify potential future Gypsy and traveller sites.

It comes amid concern from some residents in Rothwell that allotments on Scott Avenue in the town have been earmarked as one of the sites.

In a statement, a Kettering council spokesman said the council had looked at possible sites across the borough to identify if any would be suitable for a more detailed assessment.

He added: “A number of landowners have been contacted around the borough, simply to ask if they would be interested in their land being considered further for Gypsy and Traveller accommodation. This does not mean the site will go on to be allocated for Gypsy and Traveller accommodation. The sites will need to be assessed thoroughly to determine which of them are the most suitable, available and deliverable.

“The dialogue above with landowners needs to happen before we can go to a public consultation stage. It would be wholly inappropriate to announce a long list of possible sites without first having approached all the landowners affected.

“Consultation on the location of the required Gypsy and Traveller Sites has not yet commenced.

“It is proposed that a report will be presented to the Council’s Planning Policy Committee on April 30, to ask members if we can consult on the background information collected.

“If Borough councillors endorse this, a full public consultation exercise will be undertaken in May 2013 and this will involve all town and parish councils.

“This consultation will enable people to have their say and any comments received will be considered and used to help prepare a draft plan for future sites.

“If landowners do not want their land to be allocated for traveller provision, then it will not be allocated. No-one will face a Compulsory Purchase Order in this regard.

“Equally, it does not follow that a landowner who is willing to see their land allocated will be sucessful, because there will be wider considerations to take into account; not least that the amount of traveller provision we require in the future is relatively small compared to the number of sites currently being explored.”