Traveller and gypsy sites in Colchester to double

Traveller and gypsy sites in Colchester to double

Traveller and gypsy sites in Colchester to double

First published in News
Last updated

COLCHESTER needs to double the number of traveller and gypsy pitches in the borough, according to a new report.

Planning experts from local authorities in Essex have assessed demand for the next 20 years.

Colchester currently has 24 pitches but will need 48 by 2033.

Essex needs almost 800 more, with the majority in the south of the county and close to London.

Decisions on where these may be are yet to be made but councils have a legal duty to provide them.

John Jowers, cabinet member responsible for planning at Essex County Council, said: “By planning carefully for the county’s gypsy and traveller community, it is hoped we will avoid some of the problems with illegal encampments that so frustrate residents.

“This planning document is an excellent example of authorities working together.”

Residents whop have suffered from unauthorised sites recently are unsure whether more legal sites will help.

Mark Ennew is the chairman of the Gas Recreation Football Club off Bromley Road.

Caravans are currently occupying pitches used by the club.

He said: “I don’t believe travellers want static sites. They want to move around.

“I don’t think if there was 450,000 places or sites it would stop them going onto fields.”

John Halls, a town councillor from Frinton and Walton, revealed travellers are currently moving around unauthorised sites in the area.

He said: “If they had more legal sites I would hope more of them would use them but they would have to be maintained and monitored.”

A pitch is an area large enough for a household and usually has one or two caravans on them.

The Government pays councils about £8,000 a pitch.

Discussions are also taking place about introducing a formal tolerance policy for unauthorised encampments allowing them to remain for 24 days if not causing a problem or intrusive on public space.

On private land it is a civil matter.

The facts and figures: 

 - The highest population of gypsies and travellers in Essex is in Basildon with 873. The lowest is Rochford.

Colchester has 79 with 132 in Braintree, 201 in Maldon and 62 in Tendring, according to the 2011 census.

- There are currently 818 pitches in Essex. This includes 244 on public sites, 390 on private and 97 unauthorised developments.

- There are 32 different pitches in Colchester. The highest is Basildon with 181. Braintree has 66 as does Maldon. Tendring has 14.

- There are currently 44 vacant pitches in Essex including three in Colchester, 21 in Braintree but none in Maldon or Tendring.

- There are more unauthorised pitches in Braintree than anywhere else in Essex with 21. There are five in Colchester and one in both Maldon and Tendring.

- Essex needs 830 more pitches. With 44 spaces it means 786 more are needed by 2033.

- Once all pitches are filled Colchester needs 24 more by 2033. 12 are needed by 2018.

- Braintree needs 40 more pitches once all available ones are full including 14 more by 2018.

- Maldon requires 41 more pitches including 17 by 2018.

- Tendring needs ten by 2033.

- Basildon needs 240 more, the highest, with half needed by 2018. Areas close to London and the south of the county will be supplying the majority of those needed.

- Colchester has a 12 pitch local authority site on Severalls Lane. Private sites with permission exist in Aldham, Tiptree and Layer Breton.

There is permission for the Turkey Cock Lane site in Stanway, a tolerated site in Tiptree and unauthorised sites in Tiptree and Chappel.

Comments (14)

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3:51pm Thu 24 Jul 14

B1gman says...

Why should we provide sites for these people if they want to live in caravans and travel then use authorised caravan sites.!
Why should we provide sites for these people if they want to live in caravans and travel then use authorised caravan sites.! B1gman
  • Score: 18

4:24pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Ontheball says...

Can you tell me of ANY other EU country that pampers to this lot like the jobsworths do in this country!!!!
Can you tell me of ANY other EU country that pampers to this lot like the jobsworths do in this country!!!! Ontheball
  • Score: 19

4:37pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Jack222 says...

WE need to provide ENOUGH legal sites- there just isn't enough authorised sites so we force them to live in illegal sites then get cross when we do.

Provide enough legal sites then they will not want to live in illegal sites. They actually don't enjoy the hassle which comes with it.

They commit no more crime than any other group on the fringes of society ...
WE need to provide ENOUGH legal sites- there just isn't enough authorised sites so we force them to live in illegal sites then get cross when we do. Provide enough legal sites then they will not want to live in illegal sites. They actually don't enjoy the hassle which comes with it. They commit no more crime than any other group on the fringes of society ... Jack222
  • Score: -29

4:37pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Jack222 says...

WE need to provide ENOUGH legal sites- there just isn't enough authorised sites so we force them to live in illegal sites then get cross when we do.

Provide enough legal sites then they will not want to live in illegal sites. They actually don't enjoy the hassle which comes with it.

They commit no more crime than any other group on the fringes of society ...
WE need to provide ENOUGH legal sites- there just isn't enough authorised sites so we force them to live in illegal sites then get cross when we do. Provide enough legal sites then they will not want to live in illegal sites. They actually don't enjoy the hassle which comes with it. They commit no more crime than any other group on the fringes of society ... Jack222
  • Score: -11

9:10pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Boris says...

Jack is right, we need to provide more legal sites, where the travellers will pay council tax, send their children to school, and generally contribute more to society.
The problems at places like Gas Rec have been aggravated by Basildon Council evicting large numbers of travellers from Dale Farm, a site which they owned and continue to own. Basildon has a lot to answer for.
Jack is right, we need to provide more legal sites, where the travellers will pay council tax, send their children to school, and generally contribute more to society. The problems at places like Gas Rec have been aggravated by Basildon Council evicting large numbers of travellers from Dale Farm, a site which they owned and continue to own. Basildon has a lot to answer for. Boris
  • Score: 1

10:03pm Thu 24 Jul 14

sam vines says...

Wish they had the same vision at looking at what legal tax payers need in Colchester within the next 20 years.
Wish they had the same vision at looking at what legal tax payers need in Colchester within the next 20 years. sam vines
  • Score: 20

12:00am Fri 25 Jul 14

Assimilation says...

Jack222 wrote:
WE need to provide ENOUGH legal sites- there just isn't enough authorised sites so we force them to live in illegal sites then get cross when we do.

Provide enough legal sites then they will not want to live in illegal sites. They actually don't enjoy the hassle which comes with it.

They commit no more crime than any other group on the fringes of society ...
Reading your post, I think you must be one of THEM as you quoted "then get cross when we do"?
It does not matter how many sites are built they/you will still camp on illegal sites because even more will come.
Committing crime? heavens no, just looking for work in and on private property
[quote][p][bold]Jack222[/bold] wrote: WE need to provide ENOUGH legal sites- there just isn't enough authorised sites so we force them to live in illegal sites then get cross when we do. Provide enough legal sites then they will not want to live in illegal sites. They actually don't enjoy the hassle which comes with it. They commit no more crime than any other group on the fringes of society ...[/p][/quote]Reading your post, I think you must be one of THEM as you quoted "then get cross when we do"? It does not matter how many sites are built they/you will still camp on illegal sites because even more will come. Committing crime? heavens no, just looking for work in and on private property Assimilation
  • Score: 2

12:04am Fri 25 Jul 14

Assimilation says...

Boris wrote:
Jack is right, we need to provide more legal sites, where the travellers will pay council tax, send their children to school, and generally contribute more to society.
The problems at places like Gas Rec have been aggravated by Basildon Council evicting large numbers of travellers from Dale Farm, a site which they owned and continue to own. Basildon has a lot to answer for.
Yes they own part of the Dale Farm site, but the ones that were evicted were on the part they did not own. And rightly so.
[quote][p][bold]Boris[/bold] wrote: Jack is right, we need to provide more legal sites, where the travellers will pay council tax, send their children to school, and generally contribute more to society. The problems at places like Gas Rec have been aggravated by Basildon Council evicting large numbers of travellers from Dale Farm, a site which they owned and continue to own. Basildon has a lot to answer for.[/p][/quote]Yes they own part of the Dale Farm site, but the ones that were evicted were on the part they did not own. And rightly so. Assimilation
  • Score: 7

4:49am Fri 25 Jul 14

Closeguard says...

Why should the tax payer fork out millions of pounds for these people.
If they want a static pitch they should pay for it themselves. Do you not think colchester has enough on it's plate at the moment without these travellers causing a problem
Why should the tax payer fork out millions of pounds for these people. If they want a static pitch they should pay for it themselves. Do you not think colchester has enough on it's plate at the moment without these travellers causing a problem Closeguard
  • Score: 18

8:11am Fri 25 Jul 14

seikothrill says...

There are plenty of areas in West Mersea that could handle an authorised travellers site.

Why should we as tax payers pay for such sites when these travellers refuse to pay any tax etc.

Essex Council and the Government are soft. For example when travellers are evicted they should be charged with trespass and fined but no charges are ever made for fear of the racist tag. It is not racist when the law is broken
There are plenty of areas in West Mersea that could handle an authorised travellers site. Why should we as tax payers pay for such sites when these travellers refuse to pay any tax etc. Essex Council and the Government are soft. For example when travellers are evicted they should be charged with trespass and fined but no charges are ever made for fear of the racist tag. It is not racist when the law is broken seikothrill
  • Score: 9

8:40am Fri 25 Jul 14

jim_bo says...

12 pitch site at Severalls in Colchester cost £375,000 a pitch.

Could have brought a few houses for that!!
12 pitch site at Severalls in Colchester cost £375,000 a pitch. Could have brought a few houses for that!! jim_bo
  • Score: 7

9:44am Fri 25 Jul 14

stevedawson says...

All l would say to mr jowers, who l personally think has lost the plot, no we don't need more sites what we have are too many.most of these so called travellers are southern irish and should be deported back.those that aren't are a problem we need to solve but allowing this pitch up anywhere culture causing costs and annoyance to all cannot be allowed to continue.
All l would say to mr jowers, who l personally think has lost the plot, no we don't need more sites what we have are too many.most of these so called travellers are southern irish and should be deported back.those that aren't are a problem we need to solve but allowing this pitch up anywhere culture causing costs and annoyance to all cannot be allowed to continue. stevedawson
  • Score: 9

3:09pm Fri 25 Jul 14

suzywright says...

In my experience, travellers are generally, rude, arrogant, and leave a deluge of detritus in their wake. It is no coincidence that theft increases in the areas during the presence of these people. It is no wonder people have little contempt for travellers, perhaps if the travelling community had more respect for society, were a little more considerate, conscientious and less destructive , then maybe we could all get along. Unfortunately, we don't live in this utopian world and have to put up with the grief that comes with the travelling folk!
In my experience, travellers are generally, rude, arrogant, and leave a deluge of detritus in their wake. It is no coincidence that theft increases in the areas during the presence of these people. It is no wonder people have little contempt for travellers, perhaps if the travelling community had more respect for society, were a little more considerate, conscientious and less destructive , then maybe we could all get along. Unfortunately, we don't live in this utopian world and have to put up with the grief that comes with the travelling folk! suzywright
  • Score: 10

3:34pm Tue 29 Jul 14

friday_woods says...

I wonder if Mr Jowers will be having any of the new or proposed sites close to his home?
I wonder if Mr Jowers will be having any of the new or proposed sites close to his home? friday_woods
  • Score: 0

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