PLANNING chiefs are bracing themselves for a potentially fiery meeting to decide whether or not to back applications for two controversial traveller camps in Poole.
The Borough of Poole planning committee meeting, taking place tomorrow morning, has been shifted to Lighthouse because of the large numbers expected to attend.
Meanwhile a company has upped its offer to buy one of the sites – for £400,000.
Forelle Estates, which has property next to Marshes End, initially offered £250,000.
The council’s environmental and consumer protection services has submitted two applications for temporary stopping places at Creekmoor and Oakdale.
Borough of Poole’s full council has already voted to press ahead with the scheme, which is hoped will enable police to more swiftly disperse unauthorised traveller encampments from Poole’s public places.
Officials say that by having designated temporary stopping places within the borough, they hope to avoid a repeat of last summer that saw a raft of unauthorised encamp-ments cropping up around Poole’s parks and open spaces.
The two separate proposals are for 12 pitches at Marshes End, Creekmoor, and four pitches at land north of the B&Q car park, Broadstone Way.
Ahead of the planning meeting, due to be chaired by Poole Cllr planning committee vice chairman Peter Pawlowski, deputy Borough of Poole leader Cllr Mike White said: “Poole experiences a number of unauthorised encampments each year.
“Members of the planning committee will consider these applications and all the relevant planning issues before making a decision on whether the two temporary stopping places can go ahead.”
A limited number of members of the public will only be able to speak before the committee deliberates if they have already contacted the council ahead of Thursday’s meeting.
At the end of this month a special full council meeting will be held to discuss a recently increased offer, made by Poole property company Forelle Estates, to purchase the Marches End site.
Forelle wants to build an office block on the site, in a move they say will create up to 200 jobs. Councillors will be able to vote on whether or not to accept this offer.
The report from officers for tomorrow’s planning committee meeting recommends councillors grant planning permission to allow both sites to be used as temporary stopping places for gypsies and travellers.