Traveller Site For Dorset Gets Approval

A new 8-pitch Travellers' site on the edge of Shaftesbury has been given the go-ahead following a site meeting by Dorset County Council's development control committee.

The committee met on Tuesday 22 March in Shaftesbury Town Hall immediately after visiting the site which is south of the A30 on land owned by North Dorset District Council.

The District Council has promoted the use of its land for a Traveller site and has secured grant funding from the Homes and Communities Agency for its construction.

This initiative follows the District Council's strong track record in providing accommodation for people already living within the community, not least developing affordable housing.

The District Council has promoted the provision of a new site in the north of the district to provide much needed accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers. The shortage of authorised sites has meant that several unauthorised encampments have been established across the district and temporary planning permission has been granted at Appeal on many occasions.

The provision of this new site begins to address the shortage of authorised locations. Several further sites are needed and the Dorset-wide Gypsy and Traveller Development Plan document is establishing the criteria and preferred locations for other sites.

The project began in September 2009 with a site options appraisal and consultation before the planning application was submitted in November 2010. Providing the Traveller site has been a contentious issue and every effort has been made to adjust the site location and layout to reduce the impact on the four properties closest to the site

The District Council Cabinet will next consider whether to agree to lease the land to Dorset County Council for it to construct and operate the site.