Devon

Plymouth council agrees three Gypsy and Traveller sites

Disused council land at Efford, Plymouth
Image caption Plans for 10 pitches on disused council land at Efford were agreed in principle by the council

Plymouth City Council has agreed on three sites it would like to develop for Gypsies and Travellers.

The proposed sites are in St Budeaux, Efford and Roborough and would provide a total of 55 pitches.

According to a council report, the sites are needed to prevent an increasing number of unauthorised encampments.

The council said it spends more than £300,000 a year cleaning up unauthorised sites.

Support in principle was agreed for 30 pitches in Mowhay Road, St Budeaux, 10 pitches on Military Road in Efford and 15 pitches at Broadley Park in Roborough.

'Sensitive issue'

Potential sites at Coypool, Plymstock Quarry, Laira Bridge, Milehouse, Barne Barton and Honicknowle have been ruled out.

The council said it hopes to fund the three sites through a mixture of government and private sector funding.

There has been strong local opposition to the proposed site in Efford, with campaigners citing concerns about the effect on road safety.

Last year there were 40 unauthorised encampments in the city.

The council said not providing sites could make it more likely that councils would lose planning appeals when unauthorised sites were set up.

Councillor Ted Fry said: "Dealing with Gypsy and Traveller sites is always going to be a controversial and sensitive issue but it is an issue that is affecting more and more neighbourhoods."

Plymouth already has one official Gypsy and Traveller site at the Ride, Plymstock.

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