Another look at traveller sites

MOVES to find a transit site for temporary use by gypsy and traveller families in Torridge have been called in for further consideration by the district council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Last week the Community and Resources Committee decided that the council should seek to develop four permanent pitches for travellers at Derriton near Holsworthy, where previous proposals had been for seven pitches, but that it should also investigate the possibility of a transit site elsewhere in the district.

The door was also left open for the possibility of developing the three further sites at Derriton.

A number of possible transit sites were suggested, including council-owned land at the disused former cattle market in Bideford and between Cleave Wood and the Autistic Society’s Broomhayes School off Manteo Way at East-the-Water.

But this week the matter was ‘called in’ by the Overview and Scrunity for further consideration.

Council leader James Morrish told the Gazette that the council had been granted some �830,000 by the Homes and Communities Agency for the creation of permanent traveller pitches.

The Agency wanted a decision by the end of March, but the council might now have to go back and ask for an extension on this, he said.

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The council had three choices, to send the money back, to show evidence of the need for seven permanent pitches at Holsworthy or to do something in between that would also accommodate those who might otherwise occupy public areas such as car parks, sports grounds and the like.

The cattle market and East-the-Water sites had been mentioned, but so had others in the Bideford and Torrington areas. All areas needed to be looked at, he said.

He would be pleased to hear of any areas where people felt such a site would not be intrusive.

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