Twelve Dorset travellers' sites revealed

Twelve potential sites for travellers have been unveiled in Dorset.

All nine authorities across the county have been working together to find the estimated 100 permanent sites the county needs over the next 15 years.

A dozen sites in west Dorset, including two at Beaminster and one in Bridport, have been initially unveiled.

Council leader Robert Gould said the sites were needed to stop a repeat of scenes in Essex where Basildon Council is trying to evict an illegal camp.

Campaigners previously built barricades at Dale Farm to stop bailiffs from evicting travellers at the UK's largest illegal site.

On Monday, an injunction restrained Basildon Council from clearing the site pending a further High Court hearing on Friday.

In Dorset, Mr Gould, said: "We certainly would want to avoid any situation like that.

"It is something that has cost a lot of money to the public purse and that is the last thing we want.

"By doing proper preparation I think we will avoid that.

"We have a good track record of providing these sites in the past and we have a very good relationship, broadly speaking, with the gypsy and traveller community."

The sites earmarked in west Dorset are: Beaminster (two), Bridport, Broadmayne, Leigh, Piddlehinton, Rampisham, south of Evershot, Stinsford, Sydling Saint Nicholas, West Stafford and Yetminster.

Potential sites across Dorset's other eight authorities - Bournemouth, Poole, Weymouth and Portland, East Dorset, Christchurch, North Dorset, Purbeck and Dorset County Council - will be revealed over the coming weeks.

The plans for West Dorset will discussed by councillors at a meeting on Tuesday where members are expected to endorse a consultation later in the year.

Currently, there are five official lawful sites in Dorset.

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