Home news Greenacres traveller site: Council demands improvement

Greenacres traveller site: Council demands improvement

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Two travellers’ sites, one with a history of modern day slavery, can remain privately owned if anti-social behaviour ends, a council has decided. Central Bedfordshire Council’s plan to buy them and build a £9m site has been shelved after consulting residents.But families on the Greenacres and Stables sites near Leighton Buzzard must address crime issues and anti-social behaviour, the council said.The travellers have agreed to end these activities to stay in their homes.The council said residents must also address concerns over recent modern day slavery at Greenacres, breaches of planning permissions, unsafe sewage disposal, clean water and electricity supplies on both sites.Building a new site remains an option after a vote by the council’s executive revealed a slight majority favouring the option. It was shelved over concerns about costs.The council said it would continue to work with residents to address the identified issues as long as progress was made and the sites were brought up to the required standard. Planning for a new council-managed site would continue so it could be progressed without delay if necessary.’Constructive dialogue’Kevin Collins, deputy executive member for corporate resources, said: “The health, safety and wellbeing of those living on the sites and those in the wider community is our primary concern but we also recognise that the cost of building a new site is a significant investment of public money.”We will expect to see progress on all issues though and we still have the possibility of closing these sites if necessary.”The council said in its report that the consultation opened up a very positive and constructive dialogue with 16 traveller residents making contact on a dedicated phone line. “They acknowledged things need to change and are prepared to work with us to avoid the new council-managed site option. “Already we have seen progress being made in terms of clarifying land ownership.”
Source: BBC Beds