Hunt for travellers' sites

GYPSY and traveller sites could soon be springing up in Axbridge, Cheddar, Draycott and Wedmore. There is currently a shortfall in the provision of residential and transit sites for gypsies and travellers across Somerset and the five district councils are

GYPSY and traveller sites could soon be springing up in Axbridge, Cheddar, Draycott and Wedmore.There is currently a shortfall in the provision of residential and transit sites for gypsies and travellers across Somerset and the five district councils are investigating where they could be built.District councils have been carrying out needs assessments in their area to find out how many pitches are needed and where they are wanted.Mendip District Council, which covers Draycott and Rodney Stoke, needs to set up 75 more pitches across the area and Sedgemoor District Council needs to find another 15.Each pitch caters for a family and would normally house two trailers and an amenities unit. One designated site could have around five pitches.Gypsies are the largest ethnic minority group in Somerset, with around 3-4,000 living in the county and due to new legislation local authorities have to provide for the population.Local plans of all the district councils will go to the Regional Assembly in 2008, where members will decide whether to accept each council's assessment of how many pitches are needed, or order for them to provide more.Although no specific sites have been put forward yet, new gypsy and traveller sites could be up in the county within the next year.


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