Consultation on changes to The Stables and Greenacres Gypsy and Traveller sites
Consultation closed: 15 November 2017
The results of the consultation (see Appendix C) were taken into account when the decision to continue to coordinate robust actions to bring the sites up to required standards (and should that not work, proceed with a compulsory purchase order) was agreed by Executive at its meeting on 5 December 2017 (link opens in new window).
About the consultation
We're considering making some changes to The Stables and Greenacres Gypsy and Traveller sites to address various ongoing issues at these sites.
Before making any decisions, we consulted local residents about the potential changes and asked for other suggestions to address the issues.
The consultation is now closed but you can download the consultation document (PDF 471.9KB) or you can read the same information over the next few pages of this website.
The feedback from the consultation was considered by our Executive on 5 December. You can read the report online (link opens in new window).
Just over half (54%) of the respondents supported the idea of setting up a new site that would be owned and managed by the council, however, 42% opposed this option. There was considerable concern about the cost of building a new site and where the money would come from.
The consultation did however, open up a very positive and constructive dialogue between the council and the residents. The residents have acknowledged that things need to change and are prepared to work with the council to avoid the new council managed site option. Already we have seen progress being made in terms of clarifying land ownership and engaging with utility companies and the council’s planning team to address the issues.
To this end the Executive agreed to continue working with residents to address the issues. However, they also agreed to continue to plan for a fall back position to acquire the sites should the recommended process fail to bring the site up to the required standard. In this event officers will bring a recommendation to Executive, to acquire Greenacres and The Stables using a Compulsory Purchase Order if necessary.
Central Bedfordshire has 40 Gypsy and Traveller sites. Some are owned and managed privately and some are owned and managed by us.
The majority of these sites are well run and are well integrated into the local community with very few issues. There are two sites, however, with several ongoing issues that need to be addressed.
The Stables and Greenacres are located in Billington, Bedfordshire. These sites are privately owned. The issues include breaches of planning permissions, absence of licensing, unsafe infrastructure (sewage, clean water to site and electricity supplies), anti-social behaviour, crime and a recent history of modern day slavery.