Bid for veto powers fails

PUBLISHED: 13:30 29 January 2008 | UPDATED: 09:40 27 October 2009

A BID to give councils the right to veto new traveller pitches has been rejected. Lib Dems put forward the amendment at the East of England Regional Assembly s meeting. District and borough councils, including those in Hertfordshire, would have been able

A BID to give councils the right to veto new traveller pitches has been rejected.

Lib Dems put forward the amendment at the East of England Regional Assembly's meeting.

District and borough councils, including those in Hertfordshire, would have been able to resist their allocation if they could prove through their planning process that it could not be met.

So authorities which had areas of Green Belt or that were largely urbanised would have had more of a chance to opt out.

But it was defeated by Labour and Conservative representatives.

Chris White, leader of the Lib Dems in the regional assembly and Herts County Council, said: "This was a measured response to a process which had, quite frankly, lost the plot.

"I am delighted that a number of Conservative-led authorities like Southend supported us.

"But I am stunned that the Conservative representative for Herts County Council broke away from his own colleagues and led the charge to defeat the amendment.

"I am sure communities in many parts of Hertfordshire already under pressure from the destruction of the Green Belt will be wanting an explanation from him."

In the independent research accepted by EERA Hertfordshire needed just 115 pitches, he said.

Now councils would have to invest resources to fight this, he added.

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