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Offline Bobb

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Local traveller and gypsy sites
« on: March 25, 2007, 05:01:08 pm »
I've heard that Hertsmere are providing 15 sites for Travellers at least one of which will be on Swanland Road and a few others dotted around Potters Bar. Does anyone have any more information on this  - is it correct or just a rumour? Are there any going in to Welham Green or anywhere else near BP?

I've heard this from a fairly reliable source and am seriously concerned about crime levels rising due to this.
 

Offline Ferdie

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2007, 08:21:47 pm »
Whilst we may have concerns regarding certain communities, and in some cases they may be justified, we must be careful about linking crime to a particular group. There has long been a traveller community at Bignalls Corner at the end of Swanland Road and one in Barnet Road, Potters Bar. Crime has many sources and too often one or another group gets blamed unjustifiably. There are many other traveller communities in the local area too, not least 'Barbaraville' near Cole Green and the A414 Colney Heath. There are other smaller sites and resident individuals who have a 'traveller' background in Welham Green and North Mymms. All councils have a duty of care towards all sections of the community and have to provide suitable sites for the travelling community, (whatever our personal feelings are on this matter). I don't know whether the rumours are true but Bobb may wish to refer to http://www.hertsmere.gov.uk/environmentplanning/parksandopenspaces/gypsyandtravellersites for further details. There is a phone number on this page and people concerned about rumours should check this. If the plans are legitimate, then normal planning processes will need to be followed. Unlicensed and illegal camps do cause concern and sometimes they have criminal elements. If there are 'plans' then this doesn't sound to be 'illegal'.
The usual sensible advice about not allowing unknown individuals into your home, not getting work done on your house, drive or garden by unknown doorstep callers and keeping your premises locked apply. Unfortunately, crime is mobile and it is not soley the domain of one community.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2007, 09:54:50 pm by Ferdie »
 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2007, 11:08:58 am »
Provision of gypsy sites is an on-going issue.  Here is an extract from a Hertsmere Council meeting on 1 Feb 2005 of its Regulatory Committee

'In terms of current provision, the study estimates that there are 193 families/plots in the study area, with 103 plots on the six residential HCC sites; 15 plots on the HCC transit site at South Mimms; 36 plots on seven authorised private sites; 37 families living on unauthorised private sites without planning permission; and two families living on the roadside (unauthorised encampment). There were an unknown number of Gypsy and Traveller families in housing need.'

A very recent newspaper article said that a report has been published outlining 21 proposed sites in Hertsmere for the traveller and gypsy communities .  The locations have been suggested in line with new planning guidance which requires local authorities to provide legal pitches. They have been allocated a score in terms of their preference with six sites given the highest score of one'.

These are the eastern side of Hillfield Lane South in Bushey; the land adjacent to Elstree Recycling Centre; a site further along Allum Lane opposite the paddocks; Swanland Road, Southgate Road and Bakers Street all in Potters Bar.  The other sites may require work to be done or are located on narrow roads. These sites have been kept in mind in the event that the more preferable locations become unavailable.

A spokeswoman for Hertsmere Borough Council said: "Providing additional pitches in Hertsmere to meet identified needs is now a requirement for local authorities under national planning guidance.  "Although it is widely accepted that well managed pitches can be of real benefit to the gypsy and travelling community, local authorities throughout Hertfordshire are determined to ensure there is a partnership approach with extensive local consultation."

My guess is that fewer than 5 sites will be approved, and not 21.

Offline stevea

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2007, 09:14:31 am »
Are you aware that the majority of English 'travellers' are now on permanent sites or living in houses.

A lot of the 'travellers' you see today are mainly Irish and are extremely different to the English 'traveller'.
They do not want a permanent site, pull up anywhere, blitz the area e.g tarmac drives etc and move on.

Pointing the finger at English 'travellers' that have lived in the area for years and years is wrong.
 

Offline peppermint

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2007, 09:46:50 pm »
I heard today that Sunnybank School has been earmarked as a permanent site for Eastern European travellers!!!!!!

Where on earth do these rumours start???
 

Offline Grumpy Old Roy

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2007, 11:36:16 pm »
 
Travellers Site Swanland Road

Remember the old adage, rumour today, fact tomorrow
 

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2007, 08:27:02 am »

I heard today that Sunnybank School has been earmarked as a permanent site for Eastern European travellers!!!!!!

Where on earth do these rumours start???


In terms of this site, the rumours about Sunnybank appear to have started with your post.

Also the concern is not quite clear. Is the fear about Eastern Europeans or Travellers or a bit of both?

David



« Last Edit: June 13, 2007, 08:33:36 am by David Brewer »
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Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2007, 10:46:18 am »
All councils are strapped for cash so they are not likely to put a new travellers' or gypsies' site where a lot of expense would be involved.  On that basis I refer to my previous posting where Hertsmere Council said   

'The locations have been suggested in line with new planning guidance which requires local authorities to provide legal pitches. They have been allocated a score in terms of their preference with six sites given the highest score of one'.

These are the eastern side of Hillfield Lane South in Bushey; the land adjacent to Elstree Recycling Centre; a site further along Allum Lane opposite the paddocks; Swanland Road, Southgate Road and Bakers Street all in Potters Bar.  The other sites may require work to be done or are located on narrow roads. '

It looks as though Sunnybank School is not being considered, but I cannot speak with any direct knowledge.

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2007, 05:44:08 pm »
Hertsmere Council is holding two public meetings at 6pm and 8.30pm on 17 July in Potters Bar about new sites.  Admission by ticket only.  According to the Potters Bar edition of the WH Times you can order up to 2 tickets by emailing tickets@hertsmere.gov.uk stating which meeting you wish to attend.  They will be issued on a first come first served basis.  Or write to Public Meeting tickets, Hertsmere BC, Elstree Way, Borehamwood, Herts WD6 1WA.

You may be wondering what Welwyn Hatfield Council is doing about providing new sites.  A Cabinet Planning meeting was held on 21 June and the relevant paper can be seen on www.welhat.gov.uk by clicking through the 'meetings' series of links. 

The paper says 'given that WH is tightly constrained by the Green Belt, it is unlikely that a new site could be located within the existing urban area.  All three existing sites lie within the Green Belt.'

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2007, 03:57:06 pm »
Check out www.welhat.gov.uk for a news item today.  The following includes an extract.

Accommodation needs for gypsies and travellers in Northern and Eastern Herts.

This study covered the Council areas of Broxbourne, East Herts, North Herts, Welwyn Hatfield and Stevenage. 

Councillor Mandy Perkins said: “Welwyn Hatfield Council has a statutory responsibility to assess and meet the accommodation needs of the gypsy and traveller community in the area.

The two separate studies, which have now been undertaken by the partnering local authorities, will help inform the development of our respective future planning documents.

Welwyn Hatfield will be undertaking widespread consultation from 2008 onwards on all of the Borough’s development needs for the next 15 to 20 years, including those for gypsies and travellers.”

The study has identified 21 potential sites for consultation in the five council areas.  The only one in Welwyn Hatfield is at Bulls Lane South, Bell Bar.  The various papers in the www.welhat.gov.uk website include a map which appears to indicate an area where White Lodge Farm/ Fox's Lane is, but I would not swear to its exact location.  The map is copyright otherwise I would post a copy with this item.

There was a proposal in the early 1980s for a site at the junction of the A1000 and Swanley Bar Lane, Little Heath, opposite Leggatts Park entrance but nothing came of it.

Offline francis

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2007, 03:12:14 pm »
I wonder if anyones going to "suggest" the 20 acres field ? (unless it was to be given planning permission for a house ?!!!)           Ive noticed references in the Guardian to certain groups buying up chunks of land around the South East and divying it up in to plots
 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2007, 04:00:24 pm »
Unless the council buys the site I don't think that's likely.

If someone buys it there's nothing to stop it being split into smaller plots but planning restrictions would still apply. But at £900k that seems unlikely.
 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2007, 10:55:01 am »
Francis would appear to be thinking of the 'Property Spy' type of company that buys up land at agricultural prices, divides it up into smaller plots and sells them off at greatly increased prices to mugs who think/hope that planning permission will be given for housing.  At £900,000+ a large chunk of their profit would be eaten up by that purchase price.

Further investigations show that this site which is being considered is on the south side of Bulls Lane opposite Fox's Lane and White Lodge Farm.  The western end of the site is opposite the entrance to Linden Lodge.

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2007, 11:31:26 am »
NM Green Belt Soc has now been advised by Welwyn Hatfield Council that the report provides a starting point for the preparation of the Local Development Framework (LDF) which is in its early stages.  The council will start consulting on this in 2008. The LDF will replace the current District Plan

I gues this is a situation where Welwyn Hatfield Council is damned if it does and damned if it doesn't.  By letting us know now about this possible site it has upset a lot of people, particularly those who live on Bulls Lane, Bell Lane and Fox's Lane.  They now have this possibility hanging around for a few years until the LDF is firmed up.  I know it is causing sleepless nights. 

However if the Council had kept quiet about it until next year then rumours would have started.  As it happens, because this was a joint report commissioned by 6 councils they all had to agree to a common publication date which was last Monday.

The site is 7.2 hectares - about 18 acres or nearly the size of the 21 acre Friday Grove !!!!!.  It is big enough for 17 pitches, or caravans.  It is on the south side of Bulls Lane and extends from opposite the entrance to Linden Lodge on Bulls Lane for about 800m eastwards.  Apparently it is owned by White's Estates, one of the main developers of Brookmans Park from when it first started about 1930.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2007, 11:33:17 am by Bob Horrocks »
 

Offline Grant Shapps MP

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2007, 02:16:41 pm »
On this subject I have made the following post on the Welwyn Hatfield Forum which may well be of interest to those concerned:
http://www.shapps.com/forum/index.php?topic=1943.0

Kind regards
Grant Shapps MP
 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2007, 03:34:16 pm »
Why is the site so big ?? 17 pitches on 18 acres - my house, driveway and garden occupy no more than 0.2 acre - why do these people need so much land ???
 

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2007, 05:50:26 pm »

why do these people need so much land ???


Surely, 'these people' have needs and rights? The issue is, how to house them adequately and appropriately. If land is identified to meet the need, then it needs to be considered.

David
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Offline sasquartch

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2007, 06:02:13 pm »
I'm not suggesting they don't have needs and rights.

However, over an acre of land to house a caravan seems excessive that's all.
 

Offline Mr Green

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2007, 09:46:57 am »
How much consideration does it take to see that the land is too big for 17 pitches?

Before a single penny need be spent on site surveys and public hearings an official with decision making responsibilities should assess a site on basic specifications.

The fact is they probably have and given that 17 pitches on 18 acres is nonsense - clearly 17 pitches is just the start. Once this battle is won more pitches on the same site will follow.
 

Offline Gashead

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2007, 09:55:44 am »
According to Grant Shapps' link there are already three "travellers" sites in Welwyn Hatfield - how many are we supposed to accommodate?
 

Offline stevea

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2007, 10:54:42 am »
The three sites I think you are referring to have been there for years and years.  According to one of my friends, further back than the 1950's when sites weren't official.

Travellers do have off spring, just like you and me, and need somewhere to live.

As for a gypsy site in Bulls Lane - what a load of bull!  I can't see that happening....can you?

It seems to me that it's just more vicious rumours when it comes to travellers.
 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2007, 01:11:28 pm »
Andy Graham, Community Liaison Officer at Welwyn Hatfield Council has contacted me about this subject and we had a quite a chat. If you wish to know anything about this proposal, or to be consulted in 2008 on this subject, let him have your questions and details in an email to a.graham@welhat.gov.uk.  You can phone him on 01707 357289 - direct line.

He confirmed that this is just one item for consideration in the updating of the District Plan.  Consultation should take place in Spring 2008, and then decisions on sites should be in 2009.  He said that 17 pitches would only occupy about 1 hectare (2.5 acres). 

I pointed out to him that:
1 - the consultants report had only suggested one site in the whole of Welwyn Hatfield.  Compare this with Hertsmere who have been recommended several optional sites particlularly round Potters Bar.  By only suggesting one site, the impression is that it has to be this site.  He said this was not correct, and it is for WH Council to decide whether or not to accept this site.

2 - The timescale is what the law says the council has to follow but this has now put a blight on the surrounding area which will exist for possibly two years.  In the meantime people have got things to do like selling houses, and at least two are known to be for sale on Bell Lane.  House sellers are obliged by law to declare anything that might affect the property, and this certainly does!    Also the man who farms the land is said to have learned of this through reading the local newspaper.  Terrible public relations! 

3 - People are concerned at the idea of 17 pitches on this one site and not the size of the site, be in 1 hectare (2.5 acres) or 7.2 hecatres. 

I expressed my personal view that the consultants have not done a proper job in identifying potential sites.  As an example, their map has coloured in green the areas of land which had a high potential.  Part of Brookmans Park Golf Club course has been shaded green.  It is the western end of the course behind the houses on Brookmans Aveneue, the parade of shops and the houses on Bradmore Way.  How stupid can you get.   
« Last Edit: October 19, 2007, 01:12:40 pm by Bob Horrocks »
 

Offline Neville Hobbs

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2007, 02:08:18 pm »
Looking at  the photograph used for the home page headline "Travellers Site Identified", there are about 26 caravans on a plot of approx. ONLY ONE acre! Was this photo staged or did the Gypsies site them this close to each other because that is how they like them sited?
Neville
 

Offline stevea

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2007, 10:04:25 pm »
If you go and knock on any travellers caravan door that is not on a permanent site and ask them what the council is doing to help, it's the same old story - possibly one here, possibly one there.  It's been like this for years.
The council have to be seen to be doing something but nothing ever materializes. It's a load of hot air and I wouldn't worry too much about a site on Bulls Lane. It won't happen. You've got more chance of seeing Elvis in the Brookmans!
 

Offline stevea

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2007, 03:21:06 am »


There was a proposal in the early 1980s for a site at the junction of the A1000 and Swanley Bar Lane, Little Heath, opposite Leggatts Park entrance but nothing came of it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             This site used to belong to the water board and was a sewerage treatment plant which was very dangerous with deep pits full of water. When the old St John's Church in Potters Bar High Street (where the war memorial is) was demolished it was all dumped in this site.  When the gypsies found out about this they no longer pursued the site due to superstition.
 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2007, 10:42:27 am »
Thanks for the info Stevea.  Another little nugget of local history which is unlikely to be in official records.

Offline stevea

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2007, 11:52:36 am »
Hi Bob.   If I remember correctly, they demolished and dumped the old church on that site around 1973-1975.

I was in the area recently and did the Folly Arch walk to Gobions Lake. Passed throught the Kissing Gate.
Nice one.
 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2007, 01:05:50 pm »
Ignore all the rumours about the possible gypsy and travellers sites.  Get the facts.

Welwyn Hatfield Council will be discussing the proposals at a Cabinet meeting at 7.30pm on Monday 29th October 2007 in the Council Chamber, Campus West, Welwyn Garden City.  It is the building with the theatre/cinema, art gallery and Roller City skating rink.  The adjoining car park is free after 8.15pm.

The meeting is open to the public although you will not be allowed to speak.  I am hoping to speak on behalf of the North Mymms Parish Council, and Cllr. Keith Pieri as the local Borough Councillor.

NM Green Belt Soc will be represented at the meeting as well as other parish councillors.

The agenda and papers are on www.welhat.gov.uk.  Click on
http://coins.welhat.gov.uk/agenda/1047.asp. for the agenda.  Click on item 7 for the two reports.

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2007, 03:07:44 pm »
I have now been told that  ANY member of the public can ask questions at this meeting.   ;D

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #29 on: October 29, 2007, 12:51:23 pm »
Oops
My source of information got it wrong

The paper on gypsy sites will be presented to the meeting this evening and only the Borough Councillors on the panel will be able to discuss it and ask questions.  The public have until 2pm today to send questions to Mrs Edgar, secretary to the meeting.  These questions will be put to the officers at the meeting if they have not been covered in the discussion.

If, after the meeting, you have further questions you can send them to Mrs S Tiley at WH Council for an answer - if she is able to give one of course.

If it is any consolation, WH Council will be consulting the public possibly in March 2008 about this proposal, so please do not worry if you are unable to ask questions this evening.  It is early days yet.  There is a long way to go before any site is agreed upon.  At the moment it is just that - a proposal.

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