Stockton Gypsy caravan site proposals could be scrapped after "phenomenal" public response

A COUNCIL leader is to tell the Government he wants to scrap all plans to create up to six Gypsy sites.

Bob Cook, leader of Stockton Borough Council, will ask for special dispensation to “start from scratch.”

He said the move follows a “phenomenal” public response over proposals for six new Gypsy sites which sparked “one of the most controversial consultations we’ve ever had.”

The Government requires councils, when it is formulating its local plan, to work out the number of Gypsy and Traveller pitches it may need to provide over the coming years.

After talking to Gypsies, Stockton council calculated there was a need for 26 pitches and identified six possible sites: Roddmere, Yarm Back Lane, Stockton; Frederick Street, Stockton; the area between Bowesfield Crescent and the River Tees, Stockton; Mill Lane, Billingham; Eltham Crescent, Thornaby and the area between the River Tees and Thornaby Road, Thornaby.

However, the proposals met with a hostile response from the public with a total of 565 individuals objecting together with four petitions signed by almost 850 people plus a letter of objection supported by 55 neighbours.

Many members of the Gypsy and Traveller communities also said they didn’t want to live in such urban areas.

Cllr Cook, Labour, explained that in the West Midlands, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council has already been given special dispensation by Local Government Minister, Eric Pickles, to scrap its Gypsy site proposals and to re-examine the issue from scratch.

He said Stockton now also thought it would need fewer than 26 pitches for the Gypsy and Traveller communities in any case and didn't want to be rushed into making a bad decision.

“I hope that by making this recommendation it shows that when we ask people for their views we do listen...We ask the Government to let us do what they keep preaching about, and that’s localism, letting decisions be made locally.”

Louise Baldock, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Stockton South, campaigned on the issue in Thornaby. She said: “I welcome this decision. Residents, particularly in Thornaby, have been anxious and concerned that they might lose their community spaces.”

Cllr Cook’s proposal to scrap the current proposal will be considered by the Cabinet committee on Thursday, July 17 and, if approved, will then be debated at full council.

Comments (8)

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10:33am Sat 5 Jul 14

DarloXman says...

Well done to those in Stockton who registered objections.

If more of us did the same in Darlington then perhaps we will eventually be listened to as well.
Well done to those in Stockton who registered objections. If more of us did the same in Darlington then perhaps we will eventually be listened to as well. DarloXman
  • Score: 30

12:20pm Sat 5 Jul 14

taffyruffles says...

Has anyone noticed that usually when there is an article concerning traveller & gypsies this rag the comments down so as you cannot post anything that is on your mind. Just like Darlington council they are truely in their pockets.
Has anyone noticed that usually when there is an article concerning traveller & gypsies this rag the comments down so as you cannot post anything that is on your mind. Just like Darlington council they are truely in their pockets. taffyruffles
  • Score: 10

4:24pm Sat 5 Jul 14

behonest says...

Louise Baldock, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Stockton South, decided, with less than a year to go before the next election, that she had better play it safe and give the impression she is against these traveller site proposals.

But is she against more traveller sites in Stockton?
Louise Baldock, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Stockton South, decided, with less than a year to go before the next election, that she had better play it safe and give the impression she is against these traveller site proposals. But is she against more traveller sites in Stockton? behonest
  • Score: 4

10:20am Sun 6 Jul 14

darloboss says...

come on billy boy show us you have a pair and get shot of the darlo cowboys
come on billy boy show us you have a pair and get shot of the darlo cowboys darloboss
  • Score: 8

4:45pm Sun 6 Jul 14

settheworldonfire says...

That will never happen as i have discovered Billy " boy " Dixon has travelers blood in him.......
That will never happen as i have discovered Billy " boy " Dixon has travelers blood in him....... settheworldonfire
  • Score: 4

9:20pm Sun 6 Jul 14

bambara says...

Where do you suggest the travellers live?

Nobody wants them near them (me included) but they have to live somewhere, and their kids have to go to school somewhere.

It can't simply be "not in my back yard" because they will end up in someones back yard.

Suggestions anyone?
Where do you suggest the travellers live? Nobody wants them near them (me included) but they have to live somewhere, and their kids have to go to school somewhere. It can't simply be "not in my back yard" because they will end up in someones back yard. Suggestions anyone? bambara
  • Score: -2

9:57pm Sun 6 Jul 14

loan_star says...

bambara wrote:
Where do you suggest the travellers live?

Nobody wants them near them (me included) but they have to live somewhere, and their kids have to go to school somewhere.

It can't simply be "not in my back yard" because they will end up in someones back yard.

Suggestions anyone?
Simple, in Darlington there is a big site at Honeypot Lane. Just extend that one and so they can all stay in the same area. No need to build smaller plots all over the borough.
[quote][p][bold]bambara[/bold] wrote: Where do you suggest the travellers live? Nobody wants them near them (me included) but they have to live somewhere, and their kids have to go to school somewhere. It can't simply be "not in my back yard" because they will end up in someones back yard. Suggestions anyone?[/p][/quote]Simple, in Darlington there is a big site at Honeypot Lane. Just extend that one and so they can all stay in the same area. No need to build smaller plots all over the borough. loan_star
  • Score: 2

7:43pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Jamesharroway says...

taffyruffles wrote:
Has anyone noticed that usually when there is an article concerning traveller & gypsies this rag the comments down so as you cannot post anything that is on your mind. Just like Darlington council they are truely in their pockets.
Racial discrimination should not be tolerated, and such abuse will ALWAYS be reported to the POLICE. I am a RomaSupport Worker, I have seen the devastation that hate and prejudice can cause. Please be sure I am watching everyone carefully for any sign of racial intolerance!
[quote][p][bold]taffyruffles[/bold] wrote: Has anyone noticed that usually when there is an article concerning traveller & gypsies this rag the comments down so as you cannot post anything that is on your mind. Just like Darlington council they are truely in their pockets.[/p][/quote]Racial discrimination should not be tolerated, and such abuse will ALWAYS be reported to the POLICE. I am a RomaSupport Worker, I have seen the devastation that hate and prejudice can cause. Please be sure I am watching everyone carefully for any sign of racial intolerance! Jamesharroway
  • Score: 0
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