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Travellers site public meeting

Land identified as a possible travellers site at Bell Bar - image courtesy of Freddy O'Hare
The proposed site at Bulls Lane - image courtesy of Freddy O'Hare
Local residents are invited to a public meeting later this month to discuss plans to provide 17 pitches in the borough for travellers.

Bulls Lane has been suggested as a possible site. Each pitch would need to be big enough for two caravans.

Welwyn Hatfield Council is required by law to assess the accommodation needs for the travelling community and to provide ‘adequate accommodation in suitable places.’

The council, along with neighbouring authorities, jointly commissioned a scoping study to assess suitable sites. Twenty one sites were identified and the only one in Welwyn Hatfield was the site on Bulls Lane.

On 29 October last year, 60 local residents attended a meeting of the planning and transportation panel where councillors said they could not support the proposal for the site at Bulls Lane.

At that meeting, the chief planning officer, Chris Conway, said that technically, the Bulls Lane site might meet the criteria, but in practice, it may not.

Conservative councillor, Stephen Boulton said that if this site did not meet the criteria, then all other sites in Welwyn Hatfield also failed.

According to the North Mymms District Green Belt Society (NMDGBS), the site identified by the report is to the south side of Bulls Lane and extends from opposite the entrance to Linden Lodge for about 800m eastwards. It is about 18 acres of land and big enough for 17 pitches. The council will start consultations on the proposal in the spring.

Sites such as Your Rights and Traveller Law Reform Project, set out the rights of the travelling community.

The public meeting will be held at the North Mymms Youth and Community Centre on Friday 18 January at 5pm. Local MP, Grant Shapps, will be on hand to hear concerns.

You can discuss the issue in this site’s forum. Registered users can join the debate. Registration for the forum is free-of-charge.

3 January 2008

Related News
Travellers site proposal considered - 30 September 2007
Travellers site identified - 18 September 2007

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