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'Very unlikely' alternative travellers' sites in Bournemouth will be found
COUNCILLORS have spoken of their relief after four sites earmarked for travellers in Bournemouth were ruled out by council leader John Beesley.
In an announcement earlier this week, Cllr Beesley said there were “sound planning reasons” why none of the sites included in the earlier consultation exercise; Erlin Farm, Careys Road, Throop Road and Park Road, will be considered further.
He stressed that is was “very unlikely” that a suitable alternative site would be located in Bournemouth, adding: “I hope this will put at rest the minds of those residents who have understandably been expressing concern at these proposals.”
Cllr Ron Whittaker, vice-chairman of the borough’s planning board, said: “This has come like a bolt out of the blue; but I am absolutely delighted.
“The last 11 months have been hell for so many families in Muscliff who have been unable to sell their properties. Two of these sites were in my ward. Erlin Farm was totally unacceptable; it is not in council ownership; it is a working farm and grade one agriculture land. It should have been rejected at stage one.”
He added: “Careys Road is adjacent to a Jewish cemetery and it would have been impossible to gain access to the site; both sites are close to residential properties. This has caused enormous distress to both local residents and local councillors.”
Cllr Whittaker added that sufficient research had not been carried out into the Green Belt sites.
Fellow Throop and Muscliff councillor Anne Rey said: “As far as I’m concerned, common sense has prevailed. It’s relieved a lot of people’s anxieties in the ward and across Bournemouth as a whole.
“We had so many emails and letters from people about these proposed sites and people actually had to take their houses off the market until this matter was resolved.
“We’re absolutely thrilled for the residents and would like to thank everyone who sent letters in and responded to the consultation. It was a team effort.”