Councillors debate new Brighton travellers site

Posted On 15 Mar 2012 at 3:44 pm

A proposal to build a permanent travellers site on the edge of Brighton is due to be discussed by councillors this afternoon (Thursday 15 March).

The ruling Green cabinet of Brighton and Hove City Council is expected to agree that 16 pitches should be built at Horsdean in Patcham.

If agreed, the proposal will then be decided a meeting of the full council next Thursday (22 March).

The Greens do not have a majority and could be outvoted by the Conservatives and Labour as happened at the budget and council tax meeting last month.

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The proposed site at Horsdean is already home to 23 transit pitches and expanding the site has already attracted opposition.

The opposition Conservative group leader, Councillor Geoffrey Theobald, who represents Patcham ward, said: “It’s wholly inappropriate to put a transit site and a permanent site next to each other.

“It’s in the South Downs National Park and if we mean anything by the park then you have to question that.

“When the bypass was built it was supposed to be a corset around the city.

“We were told that there would be no development north of the bypass. That’s why Brighton and Hove Albion couldn’t build a stadium at Waterhall.

“When the transit site was being considered, it was vigorously opposed by the national park authority’s predecessor, the South Downs Joint Committee or the South Downs Conservation Board.

“There are also concerns about the safety of the water supply. There’s an aquifer underneath the site and it runs right across the site.

“I would want to be assured that the Environment Agency had looked into this. Concerns about the possibility of contamination have been raised with me.”

If the site is agreed by the council, it would still require planning permission which would be decided by the national park authority.

The council and national park authority worked together to choose the site having assessed about 50 possibilities in and around Brighton and Hove.

The proposal for a permanent site forms part of a three-year travellers strategy being discussed by the cabinet this afternoon. To read the strategy, click here.

The council was awarded £1.7 million by the government to create a permanent site in Sheepcote Valley. But the land was found to be too heavily contaminated.

The council is not yet sure whether it will be able to keep the money to fund the new site which is in Braypool Lane, Patcham.

Travellers living on the site, close to the junction of the A23 London Road and A27 Brighton bypass, will have to pay rent and council tax.

If approved, it is likely to open late next year or early in 2014. Even then, it is not expected to meet the total demand.

The council expects to still have to deal with illegal camps in public parks and open spaces, albeit fewer of them. It intends to continue tolerating camps on certain sites.

The three-year strategy also aims to reduce community tensions and improve relations between travellers and residents.

  1. Uncle Protein Reply

    Yet more money squandered on individuals who refuse to play by society’s rules; and the hard-working, law abiding tax payer is squeezed and squeezed and squeezed for even more money.

    Isn’t it time that those who contribute NOTHING to society get less, and the rest of us are rewarded for our hard work and desire to obey the law?

  2. Barry Reply

    I can fully understand residents objections to this site being enlarged for the placement of even more traveling community’s but as this site has been there main site for many years & being I’m a resident of B&H I personally agree this is the best place for them, but fully agree they should pay for there amenity’s just like every other resident has to pay but that’s easer said than dun.
    “The three-year strategy also aims to reduce community tensions and improve relations between travellers and residents”. Rilly I wonder how they intend doing that? Personally I’ll stop & talk to anyone & it would be nice to be able to have better relations between them & use but they have to participate in building these relations its all very well the council making these proposals & its all very well member of B&H making rash presumptions but with every community there are good & bad that make it hard for all concerned, not all the traveling community’s are bad people some DO clean up after themselves but its those that dote that make it bad for the majority, I’ve been a tenant representative in B&H now for ruffle three years or more I enjoy the work I do in helping out in the community & it would be nice if we all could get along better but there will always be those that appose new developments & proposals but under a democratic system we all have an equal opportunity to express our opinions.

  3. Greg Reply

    Barry. You have limited knowledge on this subject until you have lived with the effects. In Patcham, every summer, we suffer with more and more litter being dumped on the sites the travellers park themselves on. We suffer from vans being targeted for the platinum in their catalytic converters. People walking dogs have them physically withheld if they are off the lead and ransom money demanded. Patcham is increasingly treated like a poor neighbour to B&H even though we pay our fair share of council taxes. Our pavements are terrible and many don’t even have paving slabs, just tarmac, as if done as an after thought when the road was done. The kids play area at Mackie park received some kind of mini make-over last year, nothing like the new facilities that were afforded to Hove Park and Preston Park. It’s interesting that an eviction notice has been served on the site that is opposite the top of Dyke Road Avenue which probably has the least impact on any local residents yet we are expected to constantly tolerate the intolerable and now suffer the indignity of a £1.7m investment in people that invariably don’t work or pay taxes when Patcham could do with some money invested in it.

  4. Clive Reply

    The root of this problem is that West Sussex and East Sussex county councils don’t pull their weight in providing traveller sites, meaning that Brighton and Hove ends up bearing a disproportionate amount of the burden.

    Local Conservatives have been very quick to blame the current Green administration in B+H for this (they were much quieter on the subject when they were in power). Perhaps they ought to have a word with their colleagues in Lewes and Chichester?

  5. Barry Reply

    Greg, I ashore you I do have knowledge on this subject & I have lived with the effects In Coldean, every summer, we suffer with more and more litter & builder’s & Garden waist being dumped in the WildPark by the travelers but in saying that some residents take advantage of the travelers being camped buy dumping builder’s & Garden waist there & what of the people that pay these travelers to clear there gardens do that question where they are dumping it NO. & everybody in B&H has the same problem (platinum in their catalytic converters) it is not isolated to Patcham. Plus everyone walking there dogs anywhere the travelers are camp suffer with harassment & antisocial behavior. Secondly every pavement in B&H are more or less as bad as yours if not worse yes you have tarmac & I know Patcham very well it was my stumping grown when I was a kid as I grow up in Hollingbury I have lived in B&H all my life so I do have grate knowledge of most parts of B&H & these days in my latter years I am part of the tenant movement that is trying very hard to make B&H a better place for everyone one be you a tenant/resilient or traveler, Black or Wight gay/striate or transsexual have a better quality of living in B&H & before we get into even more punch lines the travelling community’s have been using that site for many years & if you had dun your research the majority of the travelling community’s would very much like to be a part of B&H joining in trying to make it a better place for everyone concerned but like with every community (travelling or home dwelling) it has its misfits that wont nothing more than to make life hard for everyone. So if you wont to make a different’s in your community dote sit indoors moaning about it get out & make a different’s.

  6. Greg Reply

    Barry, I have lived in Brighton for 50 years starting life on the seafront in Brighton then Westdene from the age of 6 going to Patcham Fawcett and buying a house in Mackie Avenue where I lived for 2 years. I then moved to Hove for 8 years before moving back to Patcham in 2006. Trust me, the difference in budget spend on Patcham facilities, roads, wardens, pavements, kids facilities, policing is way below that of Hove yet we pay our fare share of taxes. Out of sight out of mind pretty much sums us up and the local government austerity measures on the back of the credit crunch hasn’t helped. I was at the meeting last night at the community centre and the majority of people used it as a platform to complain about the illegal traveller camps that spring up every summer. The general feeling is that the council don’t really care about the residents, especially Caroline lucas, she lives in switzerland for gods sake. I believe that if the police did more and there was a bigger show of support for Patcham residents when an illegal camp springs up then we wouldn’t mind having a static camp where they wish to integrate with the community, trouble is, past evidence of other sites proves they don’t even try and then the site gets overcrowded as all their buddies pile in. How many approved static camps have other counties like West Sussex got compared to East Sussex and especially Brighton? The Brighton green belt footprint is about 4% of the total green belt area in the UK yet we have 46% of the camps or something like that. Who will I be voting for next year? – I can tell you now it won’t be the Green Party. They have almost made it impossible for tourist trade (parking fees) and difficult for residents with 30mph speed limits on the Lewes Road and Old Shoreham Road.

  7. Barry Reply

    Greg, I also have lived in Brighton for 51 years starting life in Hollingbury, then in my 20s Clyde Road in Brighton then in my early 30s Hollingdean then in my early 40s Coldean, I’ve seen Brighton & Hove go from a well maintained two tear town’s to a badly maintained city, when we where a mere town we had a byway law that prevented people parking there cars on the grass verges but now we are a city that byway law has been abolished & never replaced plus our parks & gardens that used to be the best in bloom across the county is now more or less forgotten, so Trust me I do know the difference in budget spend right across Brighton & Hove, Patcham is not the only estate in this city that has been left to rack & ruin take for instants Coldean like Patcham is a forgotten out of site estate that over the years has had very little budget council money spent on it. & as I have been informed there was around 200 objections at the community centre meeting last night, the problem with traveller camps is, is the council have to supply places for them set down in government policy’s so it is the government that are at fort yet in saying that we now have a GREEN party run council
    “the council don’t really care about the residents”, to witch I would have to agree as at the last tenant compact mongering group meeting at Hove town hull the leader of the green run council informed other councilors to brush aside what we tenant reps had made firm objections too, basically councilor Bill Randall push use aside like we had no say in what they propose the only councilors to support the tenants opinions was the conservatives & labour councilors where instructed by there leader to support the green parts sedition so I fully understand your & everyone ells opinions about the councils lack of care in out city. & you talk about 30mph speed limit on the Lewes Road o’ you have not seen there latest plans for the Lewes Road have you ha well they have proposed a cycle lane going from the new bridge from the entrants of Stanmer all the way to Elm Grove plus to make matters more frustrating they proposed a bus lane from Coldean lane to Elm Grove north & south plus parking restrictions from Sainsbury’s to Elm Grove that makes 30mph good compared to the rush hour traffic both ways will be a 5mph one lane traffic crawl, so the green party are spending out council tax money on making everyone’s life a misery unless you use the bus or cycle so believe me I also wont be giving them my vote, they had also proposes to make the old coop building into student accommodation but I believe that fall through for now, & yes parking fees are outrageous let alone there proposal to double the allotment rents from £55.40 p/y to a staggering £110,80 p/y being most people who rent them are on low incomes sound ridiculous but they say they need to find the money somewhere yes tax the poor to put in ridiculous road works & travelers sites that no resident of B&H wants, believe me I understand how you feel.

  8. Mr Smith Reply

    ohh wow the traveling community are back in brighton Wild Park in Moulsecoomb i wonder if it was money issues that mean that little preventative bump hump along Wild Park in Moulsecoomb , its going to cost the council a lot more now to remove them / clear up after the travelers have gone ..

  9. Barry Reply

    Ha the council opened the gate to let them in clamming it would be safer for the traffic HA wait a minute what about the people on the pavement/footpaths dote they get to be safer! I.e. as just stated “that little preventative bump hump along Wild Park” A big JOKE by the council’s prevention mashers yes it’s just a mound of sole nothing like the chalk mounds they have put in Hollingbury, Surrenden Park or the park adjacent to Peacock Ln just off the London Rd or the extensive barricades to Vale Av Park in Patcham O’ no we get a little mound of dirt that the Travelers can drive over with there caravans/trailers attached – so again if Patcham thinks they have it bad just think about use poor residents that live by the Wild Park because we dote get the luxury mounds of chalk, Wooden posts sticking out of the ground or posts stopping them driving along the pavement/footpaths and plus you dote get willing council officers opening the gate to let them in.
    The Law regarding the removal of gypsy / traveller illegal encampments is clear and concise. It is covered by Halsbury’s Laws of England under The Common Law, The Civil Procedure Rules, The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act1994. It should be noted that the powers given to Police and Local Authorities are just that, Powers not Duties. Whilst they can act they are nor forced or obliged to. In addition, should either do so they would then have to undertake social and risk assesments and act in accordance with all Human Rights legislation, which may make their action far longer than a swift, 24 hour Common Law action. There is also a Home Office Guidance Publication which lays out procedures to be carried out for the removal of an illegal encampment. The Home Office Guidance as well as repeating the law as it stands, gives advice that “swift and effective enforcement is called for” and that where problematic encampments are allowed to remain confict can be inflamed. Download yourself a copy: http://www.bailiffcompany.co.uk/home%20office%20removal%20of%20gypsies.pdf
    You have to lath when reading through this document “Traveller Commissioning Strategy”

    I would like to welcome you to our new Traveller Commissioning
    Strategy which has been developed in partnership with residents,
    Traveller groups and service providers.
    http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/sites/brighton-hove.gov.uk/files/downloads/travellers/Traveller_Commissioning_Strategy_2012.pdf
    And on the council web page it states “The council follows government guidelines on the management of unauthorised encampments” dose this mean opening gates to allow them in? http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/housing/travellers/travellers-frequently-asked-questions

  10. Mr Smith Reply

    it made the local South news today the travellers encampment at Horsdean now has space for 3 travelers . i have counted more than 20 camping in Wild park and the council want to put up a permanent site for 12 ? i noticed the spacing of the caravans and vehicles at Wild park and the massive pitch space each of the temporary pitches at Horsedean has…
    most of my postings have a clickable link to some other website Thanks Barry for actually putting the link in your comment above . i must add a small extra bit of information the travelers at Wild park have the open gate there now so they can leave but if it was opened by the council to allow “safe evacuation” WHY was it seen ok to continue to let travelers in that entrance i watched in amazement at the freely comings and goings today and i am very sure the local shops opposite have noticed an increase in custom so its not all bad

  11. Andy Reply

    Once again our green spaces become open sewers and fly tipping sites for the (non)travelling community. And we have to pay to clean it up. They must laugh their heads off at us – you try going a couple of miles above a speed limit or infringing any other law and if you get caught you’ll be prosecuted-Travellers? After checking on their welfare our police will check to see they don’t feel abused and send them on their way with a leaflet about how to report “racism”.

  12. Barry Reply

    Wall Mr. Smith yesterday I took a wee drive down to Horsedean on my mobility scooter to have a wee look and I can ashore you there where more than 3 spaces and from where I was standing you could see the hall site and there were way more than just 3 spaces available more than anoth for those park in the Wiled Park so its hors-t to the reasons why this council will not move them on and yes the local shops opposite probably has noted an increase in custom as with the shops at the bottom of Coldean I will say this group of travelers appear to be more descent to the megacity we usually get i.e. I witnessed on Monday one of there dogs managed to escape to attack a walker walking there dog and a traveller came out to retrieve the dog and he couldn’t apologies anoth to the women.

    As to you Andy the council unforchantly have there legal obligations as they do with everyone regardless of who you are and as to accusing the travelling communities of being the only ones that turn our green open spaces into a sewer by fly tipping your probable fine more fly tipping comes from people that live in B&H and regardless how much it cost the council to clean up you never see anyone complaining when someone with a white van turns up to clear your garden of all its rubbish let alone care where they are going to tip it and as to there welfare every person has the right of welfare be you a homey or a traveller as to racism you be the first to complain if somebody was races about you or a member of your family…

    In some way’s you have to respect the travelling community’s, I have in the past dun extensive research in to there way of like and there beliefs i.e. as a respectful community to witch many of them are they like use homeys unforchantly as with every community have disrespectful people living within your community that make it hard for everyone – take for instants where you live I bet you have drug addicts and alcoholics living within your community’s et. Its hardly what your find in a travelling community you show them respect there give it back, they have there own laws witch they obi to and they have there ways of punishing those that dote and unlike a lot of use they work hard to provide for there family’s and community’s they pay road tax, insurants et yes they may not pay tax on there earnings but there’s many outside of the travelling community’s that dote ever.
    So you cannot tar every traveller with the same brush as you dote with people living within your own community’s, its like everything in life if we dote understand it we fear it so we complain about it without first trying to understand it i.e. if your gay you dote live within a travelling community “Unacceptable” but ex gay travellars still have respect for there travelling community’s like use homeys we may find it “Unacceptable” but we respect even if we misunderstand them.

  13. Mr Smith Reply

    on Sunday i saw a lad of about 14 taking a sh*t near the old folks home i saw his friend stand near to keep look out i really have no interest in what SCAM the travelers are pulling by living free ETC but i cyclea lots and lots around the area and if i get some strange infections i now have to wear full BIOHAZARD suit ..and yes i have been to Horsedean again the site is massive but sadly the spacing of the pitches is such that it is really is almost full did you notice the news in Argus about it ? i am keen to know just how much it really is costing to put up the fencing like at Withdean and other ” open spaces ” and yet Wild park has such a pathetic BUMP .. ..

  14. Barry Reply

    Are yes I watch them put them pathetic bump in truck after truck of ordinary dirt no attempt was made to make it as big as it is between the trees but even then they would have dug it out, I was just thinking the other day why not use those big concrete soak away pipes filled with dirt and planted out ecstatically they wouldn’t look so grate but ecstatic looking obstacles may look nice but do nothing in preventing travelers from getting in such as that pathetic lump they dive over! Strategically placing big concrete soak away pipes closely together would stop any attempt buy anyone they have used these concrete soak away pipes down at waterloo car park or the entrants to the dog pound unforchantly they have placed them to wide apart allowing vans and caravans to drive through rather defeats the objective like the pathetic bump in the park… now we know what the council would say to this idea “we have not the funds i.e. we cant afford it” thing is if used it would save them court fees and clean up fees every time the travelers parked up so in the long run a very big lump of cash saved every year & that’s what this council is telling use “we have to make cuts to save money” i.e. by having these defenses in place they could spend a large lump of money to spend ells where in the city O’ but this council like spending money on the traveling community’s by taking the to court and cleaning up the mess they create. To the council stop telling use you have your hands tied! And that you can’t roll out these prevention mashers to prevent travelers parking on the Wild Park.

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