Tory MP slams 'ghettoisation' of the countryside


Conservative MP Phillip Hollobone proposed a bill to remove provisions relating to Gypsies and travellers from national planning regulations, on 9 July 2013.

Mr Hollobone said the provisions to protect the Gypsy and traveller community's traditional way of life should be scrapped, asking: "Why should one category of person be treated differently under the planning regulations from anyone else?"

He laid the blame with his Liberal Democrat coalition partners, claiming the Tories would have confirmed planning guidance brought forward in 2012 which stated that the government should ensure fair and equal treatment for travellers "more robust".

The Kettering MP also told the Commons that many residents in his constituency had been "brought to tears" by proposals for up to 37 more traveller sites to be established in the area by 2031.

Mr Hollobone said that under the last government, pupils attending the primary school at Braybrooke village in his constituency were all travellers.

"By fair means and foul gypsies and travellers have now set up a very large number of pitches on sites near to the village and this was allowed to build up under the previous government in such a way that 100% of the children in Braybrooke primary school were traveller children," he said.

He said their "dominance" of the local community meant the settled local community decided not to send their children there.

"How can the ghettoisation of our countryside have been allowed to take place under national planning regulations?" he asked.

Mr Hollobone's bill received an unopposed first reading but it is unlikely to become law without government support.