Leader statement on Local Plan

Published August 2, 2018 at 7:17

The Leader of Rossendale Council, Councillor Alyson Barnes, has this week written to the Government to seek clarification on the legislation requiring all Councils to identify what traveller sites are needed across Local Authority areas, as part of the production of a Local Plan.

The request follows public comments made by Jake Berry MP – Minister of State for the Northern Powerhouse that: “any formal transit provision for Gypsy/Travellers in Rossendale is unnecessary” and that the Council should “scrap their plans for such a site.”

Councillor Barnes said:

I have written to the Secretary of State to seek clarification on the legislation and to ask for any support available. As far as we are aware Government legislation requires all councils to identify what Traveller sites are needed across the local authority area when developing the Local Plan.  The ‘Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment 2016’ developed as part of the Local Plan process in Rossendale identified the need to provide a stopover site for four transit pitches, that is available for use by Gypsies and Travellers who come through Rossendale on their way to and from locations outside of the Borough.

The allocation of a temporary Gypsy/Travellers site is one of the most controversial decisions this Council has had to make. We have had discussions with all neighbouring local authorities, to see if they could take Rossendale’s allocation, unfortunately none have volunteered to do so.

This is a matter vital to the development of the Local Plan and we would welcome a positive and speedy response.

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