Meeting the needs of the travelling community

Fenland News from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter
Fenland News from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter
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Enough pitches have already been identified to meet the estimated needs of the gypsy and traveller community in Fenland between now and 2031.

That is the main conclusion of a report going to Fenland District Council’s Cabinet this Thursday (November 21).

It is based on the latest update of the Fenland Gypsies and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment (GTANA).

The report says that the update indicates “that there will be a modest requirement of 18 new pitches in Fenland up until 2031, but that these can be met by unimplemented planning permissions comprising 19 pitches”.

Sites that already have planning permission for pitches that have not yet been implemented are at Bar Drove, Friday Bridge (2 pitches), Seadyke Bank, Murrow (1 pitch) and Ponderosa Farm, Wisbech St Mary (1 pitch).

A fourth site at Oakdale Place, Wisbech, has planning permission for 18 pitches, but only three are currently occupied by Gypsies and Travellers. The remaining 15 are occupied by people that could not be described as Gypsies and Travellers.

Compliance action has recently been restarted to ensure those are made available for Gypsies and Travellers only.

The report concludes: “The 19 pitches identified will be sufficient to provide for the Council’s current identified need of 13 pitches for the next five and indeed for all of the new pitches required for the period up to 2031.

“However, the need may well vary over time and in determining planning pplications Officers and Members will need to ensure that all material considerations (including any GTANA in place at the time) are taken into account in reaching a decision about a particular proposal.”