Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bedford Borough Council plans 'alternative' Gypsy site

Plans for a 14-pitch Gypsy and traveller site in Bedford have been submitted by the council, in case another planned site falls through.

The latest proposed land, known as Fairhill, is to the west of the A6 Paula Radcliffe Way.

Planning permission is already in place for a similar site at Meadow Lane, but Bedford Borough Council said there were still "some issues to resolve".

It said an alternative site may be "brought forward more quickly".

The council said its plan was part of ongoing work to meet "assessed Gypsy and traveller accommodation needs".

Fourteen extra pitches are needed by by 2017 to meet its legal requirements, which are in addition to the extra six already being delivered at the existing Kempston Hardwick site.

It said there was an "urgent need" to provide the extra pitches, because otherwise it may not be able to prevent granting permission for the development of "less suitable sites" across the borough.

Technical issues

Design work is continuing at the proposed Meadow Lane site, but because there are still technical issues to resolve, a start date has been delayed.

The council, which has secured funding from the Homes and Communities Agency for the pitches, said it had been investigating whether an alternative site could be ready sooner.

Councillor Sarah-Jayne Holland, said: "The work on Fairhill will continue alongside the work on Meadow Lane and whichever project can be taken forward the quickest will be progressed."

The planning application will now be considered by officers and a consultation period runs until 24 April.

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