Bramley gypsy camp application that drew 403 objections over 'Dale Farm fears' is rejected by the borough council (From Andover Advertiser)
When news happens, text AND and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Bramley gypsy camp application that drew 403 objections over 'Dale Farm fears' is rejected by the borough council
3:00pm Saturday 14th September 2013 in Basingstoke
A CONTROVERSIAL application for a residential gypsy site in Bramley has been rejected by the borough council.
Dozens of Bramley residents packed into the village hall on Monday for an extraordinary parish council meeting about traveller encampments, but their fears over the part-retrospective application for a site in Cufaude Lane were allayed when it was revealed it had already been rejected.
There were fears that if the council approved the application for the James family’s two caravans to remain at the 48-plot site, it could open the floodgates and lead to the creation of a major traveller camp.
The family, who unsuccessfully applied for planning permission for the same site in 2009, is still based there and has the right to make an appeal before the end of September.
More than 40 of the plots are believed to have been sold without planning permission.
There were 403 comments made by the public to the borough council about the application.
Bramley Parish Council wrote of its fears that it could lead to “a significant development of gypsy caravans akin to the ‘Dale Farm’ site” – the Essex traveller site that was the focus of multi-million-pound legal action and dramatic eviction in 2011.
The borough council rejected the Bramley application because of fears of flooding on the site, concerns over access and a lack of evidence that the travellers would add to the local infrastructure.
Speaking at the extraordinary meeting, parish council chairman Chris Holland said: “There were 403 public comments about this application. This proves democracy does work.”
Inspector David Winter, of Basingstoke police, told those assembled that the police have limited powers to deal with travellers.
He said: “They know where we have no powers. We can’t move them from verges as they are covered by Highways.”
He said they needed residents to let them know about illegal encampments and criminal activity, adding that statements are needed if offenders can be prosecuted.
Also at the meeting was Geoff Scrutton, the borough council’s traveller liaison officer.
He said that the number of encampments in the borough has risen recently, saying: “Normally, we expect to see between 80 and 100 each year. This year it will be between 100 and 120.”
He said that he understood residents’ concerns and said the situation was made difficult because of the lack of authorised transit sites in Hampshire.
He added: “We need to find a balance between the settled and travelling communities.”
Comments are closed on this article.