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Permanent gypsy site in Selby

Selby District Council

12:02am 5th October 2011

Whitley has been named as the preferred location for a permanent gypsy site in Selby.

The District Council's working to find land to allocate to local travellers.

But every option so far has prompted an outcry from residents, who don't want it based near their homes.

A consultation is still underway.

Statement from Selby District Council

Selby District Council's Policy Review Committee is asking people across the area for their views on a possible site for ten new Gypsy and Traveller pitches.

The group is reviewing options for delivering these pitches as part of a new ten-week consultation relating to the Council's Site Allocations Development Plan Document (SADPD).  The SADPD identifies specific sites for a wide range of development in the district between now and 2026, including housing and business growth.  It supports the planning vision set out in the Core Strategy document which is currently going through its 'Examination in Public'.

Although the SADPD identifies sites for many different types of development, one of the most high profile elements of the plan is around identifying a site for ten new pitches for Gypsies and Travellers.  The need for such sites has been set out in the Core Strategy, following local research.  The criteria for identifying a specific site for these ten pitches are within the SADPD document.

In looking at the document, however, the Council's Policy Review Committee wanted to undertake a separate piece of work to see whether any alternative sites to the one identified as the Preferred Option could be found.  Using the criteria set out in the SADPD a site in the Whitley area has currently been identified as this preferred option.  The criteria includes the need for the landowner to have put forward their site for this specific purpose, to ensure that the ten pitches are deliverable as part of the plan.

The Policy Review Committee is now asking people for other potential sites that could be considered as part of this process.  Any suggestions should be sent to the Chair of the Committee, Cllr Richard Musgrave, either by post to the civic centre (see address details below) or by email via info@selby.gov.uk.  

Cllr Musgrave said:

"Given the interest generated by the Council's proposals to develop these new pitches, the Policy Review Committee wants to be absolutely sure that the Council has considered every available option.

"We want you to get in touch if you know of a site that could be suitable.  These will then be considered as part of the consultation process that's currently taking place.

"When the Council carried out a consultation on the first draft of this document at the start of this year, the vast majority of responses received were about the proposed Gypsy and Traveller pitches.  We know this is a big issue for people in this area, which is why we've listened and are now taking these extra measures to identify potential alternative sites as part of the consultation."

The results of the Policy Review Committee's work will feed into the wider consultation process, the results of which will be considered by the Council's Executive, before returning to Full Council.  Ultimately the document will have to go to central Government and there will be a separate 'Examination in Public' before it can be adopted.  Therefore, the current consultation is just the next step in a long-term development process for the document.

The postal address for information about specific sites to be considered for the development of the ten new Gypsy and Traveller pitches is:

Cllr Richard Musgrave,c/o Civic Centre, Doncaster Road, Selby YO8 9FT. 

Comments can also be submitted by email: info@selby.gov.uk.

The closing date for comments is Wednesday 19th October.

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