Twyford Orchards Gypsy site: Greenbelt expansion plan

Related Stories

Plans to expand a Berkshire traveller site onto greenbelt land move a step closer following a vote by councillors.

Twyford Orchards encampment on London Road, in Twyford, currently breaches fire safety regulations because it has become overcrowded.

Wokingham Borough Council is to proceed with plans to replace the site's 16 pitches with 20 over a wider area, using some greenbelt land.

The proposals will still be subject to planning permission.

The meeting on Thursday evening was attended by members of the public who were able to ask questions and raise their concerns.

The council's executive voted to proceed with the proposals but reiterated the circumstances were "exceptional" and it would "continue to resist greenbelt development".

'Extreme exception'

The council said "strict licence conditions" were in place at the site to ensure it did not become overcrowded again.

Ahead of the meeting, London Road resident Josephine Blythe said the current encampment was "not a problem site and the residents seem like nice people", but she described the council's plans as "a bit naughty".

The 44-year-old, who runs a pottery painting shop in Twyford, said: "The council wouldn't allow planning permission for other buildings on greenbelt land."

Councillor Keith Baker said it was an "extreme exception".

Mr Baker, executive member for Gypsy Roma traveller liaison at Wokingham Borough Council, said most of the tenants at the site were either born there or had lived there for more than 30 years.

"They are well integrated into the community and eviction is not something that is appropriate," he said.

"We are not setting a precedent and we will continue to fight any new developments in the greenbelt."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Berkshire

Weather

Reading

17 °C 14 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Leonardo da Vinci Self-PortraitMagical masterpiece

    The Leonardo hidden from Hitler in case it gave him special powers


  • Woman smelling pot of herbsWake up

    Is eating sage better for your alertness than coffee?


  • George Foreman and Muhammad AliThe Rumble

    Was this the most compelling sporting event last century? BBC Sport


  • GunGun dilemma

    What if you had a killer product on your hands - literally?


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • EarthWater world

    Are ‘oceans’ hiding inside Earth? BBC Future investigates

Programmes

  • Francis Rossi, co-founder of band Status QuoHARDtalk Watch

    Status Quo's Francis Rossi explains how alcohol led him to take cocaine

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.