A public meeting has been called to discuss the possibility of five gypsy and traveller pitches being created in a small village.
Maulden Parish Council is holding the meeting on Monday evening, after the site was listed in Central Beds Council’s Gypsy and Traveller local Plan as a potential site. on New Road.
Some residents have hit out at the local authority, who has a legal requirement to find provision for gypsies and travellers.
They say that nobody in the village even knew the site was on the list until the day before the overview and scrutiny committee meeting, held last Thursday, where the plan was discussed.
On resident, who asked not to be named, said: “We didn’t even know about this until the day before the meeting last week. As soon as we found out we called the parish council and they said they had only known for a couple of days.
“I was born and bred here and slowly I have seen us lose our local amenities. Our school is already oversubscribed and they want to build five pitches here.
“The village just isn’t big enough. I feel that there should have been consultation before the list was drawn up. We’re not even going to be able to object until quite a few months down the line.
“But we want to be able to do something now. I am also really shocked that there are still a lot of people in the village who don’t even know about this. If this happens it is really going to affect Maulden so I think it’s right everyone knows about it.”
“I am trying to get the word out and I want as many people as possible to come to the meeting.”
The plan was discussed at a meeting of Central Beds’ Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Thursday where the public packed out the council chamber,
However, it was the just the plan that was discussed not individual sites. The Gypsy and Traveller Local Plan will be discussed by the executive committee in March and by the full council in April. There will then be a public consultation starting in May.
Members of the public objected to there being more proposed sites in the north of the county than in the south, although Councillor Nigel Young responded that at present there is a 60/40 split with more pitches in the south.
A spokesman for Central Beds Council said: “There was a call for sites that ended in April 2012. After insufficient locations were put forward by landowners, developers or interested parties, the council looked for extra land it owned for possible sites.
“All of these sites had assessment criteria applied to them which led to the long list of possible sites being drawn up.”
The council has a statutory duty to provide gypsy and traveller pitches. Over the next 20 years, the period which this plan will cover, the council will need to provide an extra 135 pitches.
A pitch consists of a static mobile home, a touring caravan, an amenities block and often a shed. There is also room to park and room for visitors to park.
The public meeting is taking place on Monday at 7.30pm at Maulden Village Hall. All are invited to attend to discuss the proposed gypsy and traveller site.
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