Bournemouth Gypsy site proposals rejected

A Dorset council has said finding suitable sites for travellers in Bournemouth is "very unlikely".

Bournemouth Borough Council has also deemed earmarked land at Erlin Farm, Careys Road, Throop Road and Park Road as inappropriate.

However, it said it remained committed to a countywide plan to find suitable Gypsy and traveller sites.

A joint Dorset council statement said a number of potential new sites in the county were being investigated.

Councillor John Beesley, leader of Bournemouth Borough Council, said: "From our knowledge of Bournemouth and the borough-wide analysis undertaken by [planning consultants] Bakers [Associates], it is very unlikely that a suitable alternative site will be forthcoming."

'Extremely pleased'

Joseph Jones, from the Gypsy Council, said: "People can try to exclude Gypsies and travellers from the community but we are part of it."

Alex De Freitas, who organised a petition against the Park Road Gypsy and traveller site, said she was "extremely pleased" plans had been rejected.

"It would have been ludicrous to have traveller sites in any town centre," she said.

"We want to find solutions but they have to be the right solutions."

Dorset Gypsy Basil Burton, who heads the National Romany Rights Association, had described Ms Freitas' petition as "nonsense and derogatory".

Dorset councils received about 10,000 responses, 32 petitions and 6,000 signatures during a three-month consultation period about the countywide proposals, from last November to February this year.

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

Three possible sites for Poole were rejected last year by councillors.

Under the Housing Act 2004 authorities have an obligation to identify sites suitable for the Gypsy and traveller community in a particular area.

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