Decision details

Gypsy and Traveller Plan - Responses to consultation and additional sites and pitches promoted

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


The Portfolio Holder for Local Planning & Environment presented the report and advised that the Local Planning & Advisory Committee had considered the same report and were recommending Officer amended recommendations from those contained within the report to reflect the life of the Gypsy and Traveller Plan. 


The Chairman had received a request from the Chairman of Shoreham Parish Council to address the Cabinet.  Mr. Ennis, Chairman of Shoreham Parish Council, thanked the Chairman and gave a short speech on behalf of the Parish Council and villagers highlighting concerns, referring to an independent report they had paid to have carried out by a private expert and welcoming the recommendation to remove the Filston Lane site from the Plan.


The Vice Chairman thanked everyone involved from the residents of Shoreham, petitioners, the Parish Council and consultees to officers for their hard work over the summer.  The Chairman also acknowledged the enormous amount of work, including by the Portfolio Holder of Local Planning & Environment.


Questions were raised by the Chairman of Shoreham, Parish Council’s speech, a resident of Shoreham and a member of the Shoreham Society.  The Chairman advised that at the outset it had been made clear that at the time the site was put in the consultation it was the Council’s belief that the Salford report figures were correct.  He was aware that the Government were talking about changing the definition of ‘traveller’, however nothing had yet been changed and the Council had to work to current legislation.  He believed all processes had been followed correctly and as a result other sites had been identified and the desired result achieved.  He understood that the site could not now be placed back into the plan, however this exemption only lasted the life of the plan so could only be guaranteed up to 2026.  The reason and necessity of the consultation was to be able to look at issues raised and investigate site suitability.


The Joint Planning Policy Team Leaders advised that in their opinion the most robust justification for the removal of the Shoreham site was that there were now site options that would have less impact on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).  The points raised on school places were only comments on 15 pitches not less, and Kent County Council Highways had not raised any overriding objections with regards to infrastructure at this point.  If it were being proposed to pursue this site then further work would be carried out into these issues, but as there was already a robust reason to remove the site there was no requirement to.


Public Sector Equality Duty


Members noted that consideration had been given to impacts under the Public Sector Equality Duty.


Resolved:  That


a)        the site options previously consulted on in the Gypsy and Traveller Plan: Site Options consultation at Land South of Mesne Way, Shoreham, and Land at Fort Halstead, be ruled out of further consideration in the Gypsy and Traveller Plan covering the period up to 2026;


b)    the Council continue to investigate sites promoted to it through the recent call for sites and prepare a supplementary site options consultation to be considered by the Local Planning & Environment Advisory Committee and agreed by Cabinet prior to publication, in order to provide an opportunity for interested parties to comment on potentially suitable alternative site options.




Report author: Richard Morris

Publication date: 15/09/2014

Date of decision: 11/09/2014

Decided at meeting: 11/09/2014 - Cabinet

Accompanying Documents:


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