A representative of The Gypsy Council revealed to Minster Parish councillors last night (October 1) that discussions are taking place for a 15 pitch site at land by the village service station.
The Gypsy Council is in negotiations with the owner of the land at Minster Services which currently has a food stall on it, to lease it for the site and an agreement would be followed by a planning application to the district council.
The concreted area, next to the Co-op service station and McDonalds, currently has a retrospective planning application from applicant Hayley Evans for mixed use Lorry park and catering trailer
Joseph P Jones of the Gypsy Council told the meeting that there had been discussions with Thanet District Council which is looking for two sites for Travellers.
An action plan is being developed by Thanet council to deal with the growing number of unauthorised Traveller encampments in the district.
A working group has been set up to investigate the issue and look at areas including Traveller accommodation, security measures and increased enforcement at high risk areas.
An update from the council’s Travellers Review sub committee is due on November 19. The Overview and Scrutiny committee meeting will take place at the council offices in Cecil Street from 7pm. Members of the public may attend.
A Thanet council spokesperson said: “We are aware of discussions between the UK Gypsy Council and a local landowner about a proposal to establish a site in Minster, however these discussions have not involved the council so far. Any proposals would need planning consent and no planning applications have been submitted.”
Unauthorised camps have risen from two in 2013 to 50 last year and more than 45 this year.
The Friends, Families and Travellers charity say local authorities need to provide adequate land for travellers to stop as many families are forced to pull up in public spaces and on private land. This leaves many with interrupted access to basic water and sanitation, education and healthcare.
.An FFT spokesman previously told The Isle of Thanet News that sites should be made available, saying: “We would recommend that the district council and local authority work with the Traveller community in the area to identify land that would be suitable for building new sites to accommodate these residents.”
Minster Parish Council said members had been unaware of the negotiations.
The Friends, Families and Travellers charity have been asked for further details.