Travellers site issue remains in a state of no progress

Travellers site issue rumbles on.

Moray Council say that they may now need to turn to private landlords after admitting that they had failed to identify a single location.

Local opposition saw two possible sites in Arradoul and Kingsmeadow abandoned three years ago with council officials since searching for viable alternatives.

The issue was pressed at a meeting of the Council’s communities committee on Tuesday by Labour member Barry Jarvis, prompting an admission from the head of housing and property at the local authority, Jill Stewart, that no further work had been undertaken since the original proposals were rejected.

Mrs Stewart said: “My view would be that the council, through that work in 2010, exhausted examinations of land that is available to it. ┬áSo, therefore, any approach to develop any proposals would, by necessity, require further landowners.”

Local authorities have a duty under section 225 of the Housing Act 2004 to regularly access the needs of travellers either living in or transiting through their area.

Fife Council is being held up as an ‘excellent example’ of the way in which a local authority should handle the issue, with Graham Noble, a retired development officer for the Gypsy Traveller Education Project, saying: “They have fully managed official campsites, plus they have several stopover sites – and that seems to be working.

Moray Council failed to make any provision in the Moray Local Plan 2008 and while it is likely to be included in the new local plan that is not likely to be in place for another two years.

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