Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Telegraph Hill News

From the BBC

Illegal Haldon Travellers site could be made permanent

Haldon Travellers site Consultations are taking place between the Travellers are the authorities

Between 30 and 50 Travellers, many of whom have children at local schools, have lived on the site in Haldon Forest, near Exeter, since 2002.

Teignbridge District Council will decide later whether to support a planning application from Teign Housing to create 15 permanent pitches.

Teign Housing has secured more than £1m from the government's Homes and Community Agency (HCA).

The HCA funding includes £125,581 which could be used for clearing the current site and the transfer of the land from Devon County Council to Teignbridge District Council.

'Other solutions'

A permanent site would have 15 hard-standing pitches and amenities such as electricity, water, showers and toilets.

Anyone living there would have to pay a fee, which would include a service charge to Teign Housing, and the pitches would also be subject to council tax.

Penny Dane, community development worker for Plymouth and Devon Racial Equality Council, said Teign Housing's proposal for a 15-pitch site was an "appropriate" size.

"The council feels that smaller sites generally work better than larger ones," she told BBC News.

"But if people want to stay and there are not enough pitches, we hope Teignbridge council will continue to look for other solutions."

Ms Dane said the Haldon Travellers, like any other diverse group, may have differing opinions over what those solutions could be, adding that it was important to remember that consultations between the travellers and the authorities were still ongoing.

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