ANGRY councillors have raised objections to a permanent traveller site in Poole as part of BCP Council's local plan.

The proposal for the scheme has been included in the draft of the new plan, which highlights the need for a new site to meet capacity for the area, with a site at Branksome Triangle allocated for this purpose.

An assessment commissioned jointly in 2022 by BCP and Dorset Councils found the target for permanent traveller residential pitches is 21 pitches.

Thirteen pitches are required in the first decade of the plan.

The council already runs one site for travellers at Mannings Heath, but this is fully occupied and cannot be expanded.

The site at Branksome Triangle has been allocated for this purpose.

Part of this site is a Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI) meaning that the impact of developments must be assessed and mitigated.

Ward councillors in Talbot and Branksome Woods have raised concerns about the location of the site.

Councillor Karen Rampton said: “We are appalled at these plans, which would put a permanent gypsy and traveller site smack bang in the middle of a residential area and close to some precious protected spaces.

"This is a site filled with nature, with protected species such as endangered butterflies, sand lizards and slow worms. Even deer frequent this site.

“It’s completely inappropriate for this type of offer, and we will absolutely be standing with our residents in opposing these completely foolish plans all the way.”

Cllr Matt Gillett said he would like to see the SNCI ‘protected and possibly expanded’, and that he has ‘strong reservations’ concerning whether this is the right place for the site.

He stressed the need for a local plan to be approved, though, otherwise the council will ‘continue to drift with the current plan’.

The consultation on the plan recognised these concerns.

It said: “We have a need for 21 permanent pitches from the natural increase in our resident gypsy and traveller community.

“The local plan must address this need to be found sound through the examination process.

“The local plan is not required to allocate a transit site to accommodate the summer issue we have with illegal encampments, so no site has been allocated.

“Such provision can be considered outside of the local plan process.”

Subject to approval at a meeting of the overview and scrutiny board on Monday, December 4, a public consultation on the plan will begin in January.