Green light for traveller site

The Horsdean site is directly over a man-made adit - or tunnel - that collects water drawn by the Patcham pumping station
The Horsdean site is directly over a man-made adit - or tunnel - that collects water drawn by the Patcham pumping station

Controversial plans to open a permanent traveller site in Brighton will go ahead.

Controversial plans to open a permanent traveller site in Brighton will go ahead.

The South Downs National Park Authority had already given the site, which was identified by the city council, its blessing following a consultation in February.

Now, Eric Pickles, the communities and local government secretary, has decided against calling in the plans - meaning the scheme is free to go ahead.

The permanent site is next to the recently reopened traveller transit site at Horsdean and funding will come from a government grant.

The plans were drawn up by Brighton and Hove City Council, which chose the plot ahead of 50 other potential sites across the city.

Development will include 12 new permanent pitches, a kitchen, a bathroom, and a dayroom.

The traveller liaison team will also be moved to a building on the site and tenants will have to sign a secure tenancy; the site will be aimed at members of the travelling community with local links.

Elsewhere, an independent councillor is calling on the three main parties to support her calls for better protection of public parks from travellers.

Councillor Christina Summers plans to submit a motion to the next meeting of thecity council asking the council’s chief executive to contact Katy Bourne, the Sussex police and crime commissioner, demanding “urgent action” to protect residents and businesses.

Cllr Summers said: “The regular presence of traveller groups in the public parks has led to the feeling among residents and businesses that their own wellbeing and livelihoods are no longer adequately protected by the police.”