Sites earmarked for gypsies

FOUR possible sites have been earmarked for gypsies in East Devon and one is near Honiton.

FOUR possible sites have been earmarked for gypsies in East Devon - and one is near Honiton.It is believed East Devon District Council has identified a site at Iron Bridge, near the A30, suitable for housing travellers.It is thought sites at Sidmouth, near the Bowd Inn, and the current county council recycling centre at Tipton St John, which is soon to close, have also been deemed suitable.A field owned by Clinton Devon Estates, near Exmouth's recycling centre, in Salterton Road, is also thought to be a proposed spot.Three of the proposed sites are privately-owned and the owners of the land are being notified by letter of the district council's proposals.Because the proposals are still in their early stages, the size and development of the sites is yet to be decided.If the landowners co-operate with the district council, it is believed the land will be purchased by the county council with government cash earmarked for gypsy sites.It is not thought landowners will be pressured to sell - and the district council will be forced to put forward new sites if the current identified four fall through.The Midweek Herald was this week told: "East Devon District Council will notify the landowners and wait for a response. "If the landowners are unwilling, the council will have to look for other sites. The council has a statutory duty to provide sites."There is a whole raft of sites that can be used. The council has been looking at dozens of sites all around the area. These are the sites they came up with."An East Devon District Council (EDDC) spokeswoman said nine extra pitches needed to be identified before 2011, to join the existing 13 privately-owned pitches.Gypsy and traveller site provision in East Devon was an ongoing consultation exercise under the council's local development framework proposals - and options identified as a result of recent public consultation and other studies were soon to be put before EDDC's development control committee. Recommendations of that meeting will go forward to the executive board. The EDDC spokeswoman said: "The proposed sites will be the subject of further public consultation before identifying locations that would accommodate EDDC's quota of pitches. "At this stage we cannot comment on speculation as to the possible location of any of the optional sites.