Beds, Herts & Bucks

Central Bedfordshire Council approves Gypsy sites

Protest banner against new gypsy sites
Image caption Bedfordshire residents turned out to protest about the proposed traveller sites

Councillors have approved a proposed shortlist of Gypsy and traveller sites in Bedfordshire, despite campaigners' opposition to them.

The meeting of the Central Bedfordshire Council on Thursday approved three existing sites at Tingrith, Caddington and Pulloxhill.

New sites at Biggleswade, Potton, Stotfold and Faldo Road, west of Barton-Le-Clay, also got the go-ahead.

About 200 people turned up to protest at the meeting.

The proposals would be put out for public consultation in May, the Conservative-controlled council said.

The secretary of state for local government and communities would then appoint an independent planning inspector to consider the public's views.

A final decision will be made next year.

The council needs to find almost 70 new travellers' pitches within 10 years.

Nigel Young, executive member for strategic planning on the council said: "Everybody agrees that we should provide accommodation for Gypsies and travellers, but... not necessarily the ones we've selected."

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