U-turn on gypsy and traveller sites by Epsom Council welcomed

This Is Local London: Areas of scrubland near the Manor Park housing development was on the shortlist to become a gypsy and traveller site Areas of scrubland near the Manor Park housing development was on the shortlist to become a gypsy and traveller site

Epsom Council’s u-turn on potential permanent gypsy and traveller sites in the borough has been welcomed.

In a statement on Friday, a spokesman said proposals for new sites would no longer be considered by the council’s planning policy committee on February 19 as “more work” needs to be done on evaluating the sites.

The Epsom Guardian revealed last week that areas of scrubland near the smart new Manor Park housing development and a portion of Hook Road Arena were on the shortlist.

Councillor Sheila Carlson, who represents court ward and revealed the two options to this newspaper, said: “What it shows is they haven’t particularly done a very thorough investigation before it was going to go ahead. 

“In particular there are councillors who were very upset that the first time they heard anything was when they read it in the paper.

“They were talking to the people whose wards those proposed sites sat in and that doesn’t mean those are the only people who would be affected.

“It’s a good thing that this is going to wait for longer as it will allow a better lead-in time so that they can actually present something to the planning policy committee which is perhaps a better report which will have to be considered by that committee at a later date.

“The fact that it has been held off is indicative that they haven’t done the consultation among councillors.  Maybe they could do a briefing to all of the councillors.”

Timothy Nathan, chairman of Stamford ward residents' association, said it had requested that the item be taken off the agenda of the committee on February 19 as it wants more time to consult with residents.

He said: “We are pleased this has been done and it is not going to be rushed through.  However, we still want to hear from residents in the ward because the issue is not going to go away.

“Residents in Stamford Ward should look out for a leaflet asking them to let us know their views so that we can make sure they are taken into account in future discussions around the issue."   

What do you think about potential gypsy and traveller sites in Epsom and Ewell? Leave a comment below or email Hardeep Matharu on the newsdesk on hmatharu@london.newsquest.co.uk

Comments (3)

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10:19am Tue 11 Feb 14

Hove Ex-Pat says...

Is it just me who thinks that the council has caved in too quickly & too easily?
I fear some sneaky actions by the council in future months. They don't like being thwarted by us residents, I mean we only get in their way. So, as good old Shaw Taylor used to say, (you need to be a certain age), "keep 'em peeled". The council will not give in as quick as that.
Is it just me who thinks that the council has caved in too quickly & too easily? I fear some sneaky actions by the council in future months. They don't like being thwarted by us residents, I mean we only get in their way. So, as good old Shaw Taylor used to say, (you need to be a certain age), "keep 'em peeled". The council will not give in as quick as that. Hove Ex-Pat
  • Score: 2

11:13am Tue 11 Feb 14

EwellMan says...

What we need to do as residents is write a letter to the council asking why we pay for "Gypsy Site Management" in our council tax? Surely by law these people should be paying council tax like the rest of us?

The same can be said for taking your children out of school in term time, you and me would get a fine but gypsies and travellers are allowed for months and the teachers supply them with work whilst they are away.

One rule for one, and one rule for another!!!!
What we need to do as residents is write a letter to the council asking why we pay for "Gypsy Site Management" in our council tax? Surely by law these people should be paying council tax like the rest of us? The same can be said for taking your children out of school in term time, you and me would get a fine but gypsies and travellers are allowed for months and the teachers supply them with work whilst they are away. One rule for one, and one rule for another!!!! EwellMan
  • Score: 6

2:26pm Tue 11 Feb 14

jjsmithy says...

Completely agree EwellMan, what makes me dislike the gypsies and travellers is purely how they get away with all types of things you read about in various papers that people get caught and fined for. For instance as reported a few months back a girl took a day off school to see her dying grandmother to which they were given a large fine, however I am sure if a gypsy did it they would get away with it, purely as I remember going to school with one who showed up once every couple of weeks, I was actually asked to help them catch up once!
If I missed a council tax payment I am sure the council would be attacking me with letters; how much do the gypsies and travellers pay exactly?

So sorry council people, but how can you sit there and cut things left right and centre that people rely on, yet propose using hard earned money to make a Gypsy Site?
Completely agree EwellMan, what makes me dislike the gypsies and travellers is purely how they get away with all types of things you read about in various papers that people get caught and fined for. For instance as reported a few months back a girl took a day off school to see her dying grandmother to which they were given a large fine, however I am sure if a gypsy did it they would get away with it, purely as I remember going to school with one who showed up once every couple of weeks, I was actually asked to help them catch up once! If I missed a council tax payment I am sure the council would be attacking me with letters; how much do the gypsies and travellers pay exactly? So sorry council people, but how can you sit there and cut things left right and centre that people rely on, yet propose using hard earned money to make a Gypsy Site? jjsmithy
  • Score: 5

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