Dorset

Piddlehinton chosen for temporary traveller site

Travellers in Poole
Image caption There are currently three permanent sites in Dorset at Wareham, Blandford and Piddlehinton

The site for a new temporary Gypsy and traveller encampment in Dorset has been chosen.

Piddlehinton was one of two options considered at Dorset County Council's cabinet meeting earlier - the other was on Weymouth's park-and-ride site.

It is adjacent to Piddlehinton Enterprise Park where a temporary site was set up to reduce unauthorised encampments during the 2012 Olympics.

The decision is now subject to planning permission.

A five-year extension to a temporary site at the Great Dorset Steam Fair, near Tarrant Hinton, from 2015, was also approved at the meeting.

'Anonymous horses'

During the meeting, Jacqui Cuff, West Dorset district councillor for the Piddle Valley ward, said an encampment in Piddlehinton would "discourage" new businesses from coming to the business park.

She also said it would cause conflict between the resident Gypsy and traveller community, on the nearby permanent site, and those using the temporary encampment.

Increases in fly-tipping, traffic and "anonymous horses" were other concerns she raised.

On average, the council said about 12 unauthorised sites exist in the county at any one time.

It said that figure "significantly reduced" in summer 2012, due to a temporary site being set up on the site in Piddlehinton.

Objections raised by some councillors over the Weymouth site included it being at the "gateway" to the resort which could cause a "very bad first impression" to visitors.

The new temporary 25-pitch site is being created while a plan for further permanent sites is put together.

Hilary Cox, the county council's cabinet member for environment, said during the meeting the council had to ensure the other councils provided a site in Bournemouth or Poole.

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