MEMBERS of gypsy and traveller communities who set up illegal encampments in Bournemouth and Poole will not be transferred to a temporary site in rural Dorset.
Peter Finney, cabinet member for Community and Public Health at Dorset County Council, said the temporary site at Piddlehinton will not be used to accommodate travellers from unauthorised camps in neighbouring council areas like Bournemouth and Poole.
Speaking about the anticipated arrival of members of the traveller community over the summer months, Cllr Finney said: “It’s always a big concern. That is why councils have to provide temporary facilities to give police the ability to use their powers to move them.
“If you don’t have a temporary site travellers can almost park up wherever they like.”
His comments come after two separate illegal traveller sites were established at Baiter and Hatchard’s Field in Poole on Sunday.
Borough of Poole, which is currently seeking a court date to obtain eviction orders for both sites, refused two planning applications for temporary traveller sites in March.
Bournemouth Borough Council has maintained there are no suitable sites to accommodate a permanent traveller site in Bournemouth.
Cllr Finney said the site at Piddlehinton, which became operational in March, will enable Dorset County Council to shut down illegal camps quickly and will deter travellers from the area.
Cllr Finney said: “When we had it for the Olympics we had a marked reduction in the number of unauthorised camps but there was an increase in the number of traveller sites last year.
“It will give us protection over the summer.”
The temporary site, which is operational from March to August, will close after three years. However Dorset County Council hopes to have established a permanent site during this time.
Cllr Finney said: “There aren’t many communities that would welcome travellers with open arms especially at temporary sites but the local residents have been very forbearing. There is 24 hour security and CCTV cameras. We are doing our very best.”
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