Gipsy sites

PUBLISHED: 10:45 05 March 2009 | UPDATED: 13:57 06 May 2010

SIR, — The recommendation of St Albans District Council s planning officers to support an application for a small gipsy site in House Lane is welcome (Herts Advertiser, February 26). The officers and the plans committee have recognised that there is a nee

SIR, - The recommendation of St Albans District Council's planning officers to support an application for a small gipsy site in House Lane is welcome (Herts Advertiser, February 26). The officers and the plans committee have recognised that there is a need for some additional safe and legal places for gipsies to live and bring up their families.

It is 15 years since the 1967 Caravan Sites Act was revoked, putting an end to councils' obligations to provide sites for gipsies residing in or resorting to their area.

Private sites on land owned by gipsies were supposed to be permitted instead, but very few planning applications have been approved. Whereas many flats and houses have been built to meet some of the needs of house dwellers, provision of sites for gipsies has stagnated and illegal camping has continued.

The East of England region is following Government guidelines that recognise the need to plan for accommodation for gipsies as well as for house dwellers.

The recent inspector's review has adjusted the distribution of sites within Herts, reducing the allocation for St Albans. Cllr Chris Brazier appears to argue that giving any planning permission undermines his objections to St Albans providing more sites.

ROSEMARY ROSS,

Member of Bucks & West Herts Gypsy Advocacy.

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