Government gives green light to extra traveller pitches for Welwyn Hatfield

PLANS to provide extra traveller pitches in Welwyn Hatfield have been given the green light by a top Government minister. Communities Secretary Hazel Blears had been considering proposals from the East of England Regional Assembly (EERA) to

PLANS to provide extra traveller pitches in Welwyn Hatfield have been given the green light by a top Government minister.

Communities Secretary Hazel Blears had been considering proposals from the East of England Regional Assembly (EERA) to increase the number of traveller pitches across Hertfordshire.

And the minister has now decided to accept the assembly's recommendation that Welwyn Hatfield should contribute an additional 17 pitches by 2011.

However, other districts in Hertfordshire have had their pitch allocations changed and a senior Welwyn Hatfield councillor has expressed disappointment at Mrs Blears' decision.


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Cllr Mandy Perkins, executive member for planning and environmental health, said: "It is disappointing that the Secretary of State's proposed changes have failed to take full account of our objections to the proposed pitch allocation for Welwyn Hatfield.

"I suppose we should be grateful that she didn't increase our allocation, which is what happened to some other districts!"

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A site in Bulls Lane south, Bell Bar, has been identified as a potential location to house Welwyn Hatfield's additional pitches. But Cllr Perkins stressed: "No decisions have been made on where new sites for gipsy and traveller pitches in the borough should go.

"We are consulting on how Welwyn Hatfield might look in future. This includes options for how we should decide where gipsy and traveller sites should be provided.

"This consultation runs until May 1.

"Proposals for sites will not be consulted upon until 2010 at the earliest."

Hazel Blears' review of EERA's plans is subject to public consultation until May 22.

To have your say go to www.goe-consult.limehouse.co.uk/portal or call 01223 372772.

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