As part of its duty to plan for all sections of the community, Wokingham Borough Council wants to hear from anyone who would like to suggest potential sites for Gypsy and Traveller use.
The planning authority is asking individuals, landowners, parish and town councils or housing developers to suggest sites which might be available, either now or in the future, which they think might be suitable for Gypsy and Traveller pitches.
Anyone who can help should visit the council's Engage Wokingham Borough page to download a form and return it by 5pm on Friday, 17 February for their submission to be considered.
A place for everyone to live
This call for sites is part of the process for the council's ongoing Local Plan Update, which will set policies to manage all kinds of development within the borough for many years to come in line with Government requirements.
The council is aware that it will need to provide more homes that are suitable for Gypsy and Traveller communities in the future.
While a few sites have previously been suggested by interested parties, these might not be enough to meet local need so the council wants to know about any further opportunities that it should be considering.
All submissions will be evaluated as part of the Local Plan Update and it’s hoped that more sites will be taken into consideration as a result of this invitation. Putting a suggestion forward doesn't automatically mean it will be deemed suitable or achievable.
Suitability will depend on a range of aspects including access, flood risk, and how near the site is to schools, roads, foot and cycle ways, shops and other important amenities.
Preventing exclusion and building communities
Cllr Lindsay Ferris, executive member for planning and local plan, said: "We have a duty to plan for everyone who lives in our borough and our Gypsy and Traveller communities will also require additional space and pitches in years to come.
"These communities, which have protected status as an ethnic group, face a shortage of sites nationally and we want to play our part in helping to meet local need within the borough.
"By providing places for Gypsies and Travellers to live, it helps families maintain their existing local links and assists in reducing social exclusion and isolation. We're urging anyone who can suggest potential suitable sites us to come forward before the deadline."
Forms can be emailed back to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to Growth & Delivery Team, Wokingham Borough Council, Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham, RG40 1WR.
A separate form must be submitted for each site proposed and completed as clearly, accurately and fully as possible, accompanied by an exact site location and boundary plan to a recognisable scale.
The council is likely to share this information with other local authorities, both neighbouring and further afield, to ensure cooperation over the wider region.
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