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New Gypsy and Traveller pitches considered for Burn Airfield

Selby District Council

12:25pm 6th July 2012
(Updated 12:27pm 6th July 2012)

Selby District Council’s Executive has agreed to approach the Homes and Communities Agency to look at the potential of providing a number of new Gypsy and Traveller pitches on a small part of Burn airfield.

The Council has a legal duty to provide an adequate number of pitches for the 15 year period to 2027, and recently went through a process of identifying potential sites across the district.  From this process, a task force of the Council’s Policy Review Committee identified Burn airfield as a possible location for some of the proposed development.

The suggested development at Burn would enable the Council to meet its immediate legal requirement to provide a five-year supply of deliverable pitches in the district.  Burn airfield is currently owned by the Homes and Communities Agency, following the transfer of ownership from what was previously Yorkshire Forward.

The Council intends to apply for funding from the Agency to support the new pitches, as part of an national grant bidding system set up to assist local authorities to deliver adequate sites for Gypsies and Travellers.

The Council’s Executive member with responsibility for Place Shaping, Cllr John Mackman, said:

“The Burn airfield site gives us an opportunity to deliver the pitches needed in our area over the next five years.  To not recognise this potential development opportunity would weaken our ability to challenge any unauthorised encampments elsewhere in the district, as we wouldn’t be fulfilling our legal duty, under new national planning policy, to provide adequate pitches for the Gypsy and Traveller community.

“We need to be proactive in our approach to ensure the best outcome for the whole district.  As part of this process the Council will be liaising with interested local groups such as Burn Parish Council, the area’s Ward councillors and Gypsy and Traveller groups.”

The Council will also consider the longer-term needs within the district, beyond any pitches proposed at Burn airfield.  This longer-term need will depend on a new assessment of the potential accommodation requirements of Gypsies and Travellers in the future up to 2027.  Any further sites arising from this would then be considered as part of the Council’s Site Allocations Development Plan Document.

In accordance with normal Council procedures, any Key Decision of the Executive is subject to potential review, as set out in the Council’s constitution.

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