New West Berkshire traveller camps are proposed

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Four potential sites for Gypsy and traveller camps have been identified in Berkshire.

The sites could be at Enborne, Paices Hill, Bloomfield Hatch Lane in Beech Hill and Padworth Sawmills.

According to West Berkshire Council, there is a requirement for 14 permanent pitches for Gypsies and travellers and 24 plots for travelling show people.

The site in Enborne is at the Circus Headquarters and is already used by people working with Zippos Circus.

Five sites were put forward after the council asked for submissions from landowners for potential Gypsy and traveller sites, and were considered by the council with ten others in total.

Six were identified as being unsuitable due to the potential impact on the landscape, areas of outstanding national beauty and the local population.

'Bombshell' proposal

The existing privately run Gypsy and traveller site at Paices Hill could be expanded by nine pitches to 48.

A statement on the Beech Hill village website said the proposals for Clappers Farm in Bloomfield Hatch Lane had come as a "bombshell" and they were opposed to it.

A spokeswoman for Enborne Parish Council said: "The West Berks plans include increasing parish residency greatly and that will create real social and infrastructure problems for both settled residents in our parish and the planned expanded travelling show peoples."

The council is also consulting on the development plan to determine sites for at least 10,500 new dwellings by 2026.

The sites are subject to a public consultation by West Berkshire Council on housing in the area.

Numerous potential sites for housing development have also been identified.

Plans will be submitted to the Secretary of State following further consultation.

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