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Travellers site proposal considered
Report by Bob Horrocks

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
Councillors sitting on Welwyn’s planning and transportation panel say they cannot support a proposal for a travellers site at Bulls Lane.

The land at Bell Bar, North Mymms, has been identified by consultants as a possible location for 17 pitches.

The East of England Regional Assembly has proposed another 1,190 pitches in the region by 2011 to meet a need identified by their researchers. Of these, 17 would be in Welwyn Hatfield.

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

About 60 local residents attended a meeting of the planning and transportation panel on the issue on Monday night, 29 October.

Local borough councillors Irene Dean and John Dean (leader of the council), Keith Pieri, and Stephen Boulton (who chaired the meeting) were present, along with North Mymms Parish councillors and committee members from North Mymms District Green Belt Society (NMDGBS).

Chief planning officer Chris Conway said that technically, the Bulls Lane site might meet the criteria, but, in practice, it may not. Cllr. Boulton said that if this site did not meet the criteria, then all other sites in Welwyn Hatfield also failed.

After discussion and the answering of several questions from Keith Pieri and Bob Horrocks, the panel agreed that the report should be used for information only, and the panel could not support its findings.

The public will be consulted next spring on this proposal. Cllr Mandy Perkins explained that this was part of a legal process of updating the District Plan, which will take a few years to complete.

This issue has been discussed in this site’s forum. Registered users can join the debate. Registration for the forum is free-of-charge.

30 October 2007

Related News
Travellers site identified - 18 September 2007

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