Revealed: Gipsy and traveller sites in Central Beds

The entrance to a current Arlesey gipsy site

The entrance to a current Arlesey gipsy site - Credit: Archant

DOZENS of potential gipsy sites have been unveiled by a council, but many residents are unhappy with the plans.

The provisional list, published as part of Central Bedfordshire Council’s (CBC) Gypsy and Traveller Local Plan, includes two locations apiece in Stotfold and Fairfield, and one in both Arlesey and Langford.

The plans have not gone down too well, with residents in Arlesey claiming they will fight the “inappropriate” proposals.

It comes after two new sites in the town were given approval by the council last year.

Chairman of the residents’ association, Hugh Harper, told the Comet: “We will vehemently object to this, and are writing to them [the council] and stating it’s not suitable.

“There’s been two sites [approved] in the last two months, so we feel now that we have enough. That should be it.”

There are also some concerns from neighbouring Fairfield Park over the plans.

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Although the report lists two pieces of land in the village, the Arlesey site is on its border.

The Fairfield Park Association met this week to discuss the proposals.

Cllr Barrie Dack said: “None of the three sites that are proposed seem very logical from both a transport and access point of view.

“Currently, we’re not very happy.”

The 35 sites on the list will be shortlisted in February, with plans for a public consultation in late spring and a final plan to be adopted in July 2014.

Councillors will also meet at an overview and scrutiny committee next Thursday, where they will discuss the plans.

A report going to that meeting states: “Approval of the plan could help to close achievement and health inequalities,

reduce racial tensions associated with unauthorised sites, increase the participation of gipsy and traveller communities in decision making and service delivery processes and increase a sense of belonging.”

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