Increase in number of traveller pitches

AN INCREASE in the number of caravan pitches for gipsies and travellers in the Great Yarmouth area has moved a step closer after the East of England Regional Assembly (EERA) agreed a recommended number for each council district in Norfolk.

AN INCREASE in the number of caravan pitches for gipsies and travellers in the Great Yarmouth area has moved a step closer after the East of England Regional Assembly (EERA) agreed a recommended number for each council district in Norfolk.

Assembly members ratified plans that every authority, including Yarmouth Borough Council, should provide a minimum of 15 pitches

by 2011 to meet the expected demand and prevent future problems with illegal encampments.

A decision on the plans for Yarmouth will be made next spring following a 12-week public consultation exercise by the borough council, which will be responsible for deciding the location of the sites.


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Regional assembly chairman John Reynolds explained this week: “Throughout the

East of England, we

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need more legal places for gipsies and travellers to

live.

“With every local authority providing some additional accommodation it will help solve the problem of unauthorised encampments, which can cause problems for both local residents and gipsies and travellers.

“It will also help improve the quality of life for travellers, many of whom are disadvantaged and currently have poor access to

education and health services.”

Yarmouth has proved a popular area for travellers to gather and set up camps.

Last September, the Mercury reported how 16 cars, caravans and camper vans had arrived close to private land next to Monument Road and another eight along Broomfield Road.

The town has one authorised traveller site - at Gapton

Hall.

This has 17 pitches, but an extra five pitches have been earmarked for the same

area.

Government policy requires regional assemblies to recommend the number of sites needed in each local authority district.

This is so that ministers and civil servants can work out the final number of pitches needed in 2009 following further public consultat-

ions.

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