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Agenda item

Travellers Site Search Consultation results

Minutes:

The item was introduced by the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Alan Smith who said the report concluded a process that had begun four years previously and reflected the most up to date technical and legislative impacts. He stated he believed the access to the site was not suitable for Travellers caravans.

 

The Deputy Mayor’s view was confirmed by the Director for Regeneration who outlined the consultation process that had been undertaken and the findings of the independent technical consultants.

 

Councillor Egan in his capacity as Cabinet Member for Strategy and Communication sought assurances that work would continue with the Traveller community in Lewisham to secure a suitable site. In his capacity as a Ward member he urged that work continue in conjunction with the local community to find an alternative beneficial use for the Watergate site.

 

The Mayor said he found the independent technical report to be very significant and that having visited the site he knew access was of critical concern. He believed recent changes in legislation allowing wider vehicles had changed a marginal access into an unsustainable one. He concurred with the advice of the Deputy Mayor and the officer recommendations and thanked everyone who had been involved with what had been a very difficult exercise. He said he wished a new site search to commence but recognised it would not be simple or straightforward. He asked officers to commence the process anew and look at all possible sites irrespective of their ownership.

 

RESOLVED

That

 

 

(i) the outcome of the consultation process on the selection of the site of the former Watergate School site in Church Grove as the preferred site to be developed to meet the current accommodation needs of the Gypsy and Traveller families in the borough be noted;

 

 

(ii) having considered the outcome of the consultation process, the independent Technical Report on Access and all other relevant considerations, the selection of Church Grove as the preferred site to meet the current accommodation needs of Travellers be not agreed;

 

 

(iii) officers be instructed to undertake a further site search to identify a suitable Traveller site or sites and report the options to Mayor  & Cabinet in due course.

 

 

Supporting documents: