Pickles pledges more powers for councils to close unauthorised traveller sites
Richard Johnstone in Manchester | 4 October 2011
Government Secretary Eric Pickles has announced that councils are to be given
enhanced powers to evict travellers from unauthorised sites following the long-running
legal battle at Dale Farm in Essex.
the Conservative Party conference yesterday, Pickles told delegates that the
coalition’s planning reforms include powers to prevent such sites 'from being
established in the first place’.
noted that the Dale Farm case has been before the courts for ten years, with Basildon
Borough Council attempting to remove travellers from the parts of the site
where they do not have permission to be. The council’s plans to evict the
residents are currently subject to judicial review.
will also be given £60m to build official traveller sites, but Pickles said
planning laws must also be upheld.
not right to have planning rules which give the green light to traveller camps
being dumped on the green belt and open countryside,’ he said.
hear a lot about human rights these days, but rights and responsibilities cut
both ways. It’s time to respect the family life of those who have to live next
door to these illegal sites.’
government’s changes would also simplify the planning system, he said,
providing ‘greater certainty for local firms and local residents’.
to concerns that the planning reforms had the potential to increase development
on green belt land, Pickles said: ‘I’s not a choice between countryside and
The secretary of state also confirmed that extra
funding would be provided to local authorities to reinstate or continue weekly
bin collections, as revealed last week.