Bray traveller-site residents bid to stay beyond three-year limit

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

Residents on a gypsy and traveller site in Brayfield Stables have applied to be allowed to stay on their current site beyond an originally imposed three-year limit.

In 2016, planning permission was granted for use of the land on Windsor Road ‘for the stationing of caravans for residential purposes.’

This is specifically for two gypsy pitches, together with the formation of hardstanding and dayrooms supporting that use.

This was granted on appeal by an inspector, for three years only. This time limit was one of the conditions of the temporary planning consent.

The condition stated this use of land must cease after that point and the land be restored to its original state, with all caravans, buildings, structures, materials and equipment removed.

The three-year period expired in 2019 but there still appears to be people on the site.

Originally, permission was granted by the inspector because there was ‘a clear and immediate unmet need to accommodate gypsies in the borough and region.’

“There is no other site available at the current time,” the inspector wrote.

“If the two families are forced to leave the site now, it is likely they would resort to living on an unauthorised roadside encampment which is not conducive to their health and wellbeing.”

Applicant Wayne Owen’s representatives claim that the Brayfield Stables site is needed to meet the borough’s need for pitches – so Mr Owen is seeking to have the three-year limit removed.

A Royal Borough report in 2018 identified a ‘cultural need’ for 70 pitches. The year prior, all 62 of its total pitches were occupied.

However, Bray Parish Council is recommending to refuse the application to remove the conditions that would allow travellers to remain there on a permanent basis.

Councillors said this is because there is no longer an unmet need – a designated traveller park in Datchet Common, Horton Road was granted planning permission in May this year.

The Datchet Common site would provide an extra six pitches.

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