Plans for further work on Temporary Traveller Pitches at three Thanet sites approved

Plans for three Thanet temporary pitches

Further work to assess Potten Street in St Nicholas-at-Wade, Tivoli Brook in Margate and Ramsgate Port for use as Temporary Traveller Sites will go ahead without public consultation – although parish and town councils will be invited to take part in discussions.

The move was approved by Cabinet members of Thanet council at a meeting tonight (December 16).

The earmarked sites at the former education space at Tivoli Brook; Ramsgate Port car park and Potten Street car park were chosen following visits by the council’s Traveller review group followed by a matrix to map out advantages and disadvantages.

The aim is to use the sites on a rotation basis to alleviate the issue of unauthorised camps on the isle.

Thanet currently does not have an authorised Traveller site, with the nearest being in Canterbury and Dover.

Unauthorised encampments at sites including Dane Valley, Marina Esplanade, Government Acre and the car park by Dreamland have risen sharply from two in 2013 to 55 last year and 53 so far this year.

Cllr Helen Whitehead 

Speaking at tonight’s meeting Thanet council deputy leader Helen Whitehead said the council has a ‘statutory’ as well as a ‘moral and ethical’ duty to plan for sites regardless of cost and feasibility exploration.

She added: “We cannot abrogate our responsibility of care for residents whether they are permanent or temporary. Travellers are not a separate part of society – they are part of society.”

She added: “We have a duty to provide and a duty to care.”

Ramsgate councillor Peter Campbell argued strongly for extensive public consultation before any action was taken but Cllr Whitehead said inclusion of Traveller provision was part of Thanet’s draft Local Plan and so planning for them was a statutory obligation.

Independent Ruth Bailey, who was part of the review group, said the work that had been asked for was carried out and there were likely to be issues wherever suggested locations were.

A request by Cllr Brenda Rogers that the port be removed from the list due to the feasibility study into future uses of the site was not agreed. Council leader Rick Everitt said that study was near completion and would be ready for the New Year.

A report to councillors says: “Since 2018, numerous incursions in Thanet have been as a result of two family groups. These families whilst comprising of individually small groups (6-8 caravans) are a draw to other more transient groups meaning that incursions vary from 5-6 vehicles to in excess of 20. This group is linked to the 50+ incursions within the district in 2018 and most of the incursions in 2019.”

According to the report some 70 locations across Thanet have been assessed as vulnerable to vehicle based unauthorised encampments.

Last month members of Thanet council’s scrutiny committee had put forward a recommendation for public consultation and the removal of named sites until that was complete but this was not approved at tonight’s meeting.

‘Tolerated’ pitches’

A need for 7 permanent and 5 transit vehicle pitches in Thanet has also been identified. Temporary tolerated pitches – where unauthorised encampments stay for an agreed amount of time – are currently being examined.

The report to councillors says: “This enables smoother enforcement on those unauthorised encampments which chose to ignore the direction and stay on other land. A temporary tolerated site also allows easier management of amenities such as waste collection and toilet provision, reducing the impact on the local area. A temporary tolerated site will also provide provision whilst working on longer term resolutions to fill the required allocation. Immediate planning permission would also not be required for a temporary tolerated site due to short term use.”

Speaking of the temporary pitch proposals Joseph Jones, of the Gypsy Council, previously told The Isle of Thanet News: “It’s nice to see a positive move towards a responsibility to provide, but I still feel there is room for a permanent site too. In Leeds, Yorkshire, they have a tolerated site policy, well tried and tested and it’s good that TDC are looking in that direction.”


  1. I’m glad the Council are finally grasping the nettle about this. The previous non-policy of ignoring the need for sites, and then grumbling when the travellers pitched up in all the wrong places , was not sustainable for long.

    Of course, the best way to ruin the whole plan is to kick up a stink wherever the caravan site is going to be, so that the problem never gets solved and no-one wanting to get elected would dare to seek a solution.Then we would be back to square one but with a new batch of vindictive councillors refusing to do the right thing.

  2. Don’t jump the gun just yet, Boris is thinking about building an island for the travellers. Who will be renamed the stoppers. Boris is not sure if it will be called scrap island or after they have been there for two or three days calling it cr*p island.

  3. I have said on here before I haven’t got an issue in principle with dedicated sites being set up, However, if travellers want certain facilities provided then they should contribute financially towards them like Council Tax Payers do. A weekly rent should be charged in advance per pitch as well as a deposit taken at the outset to cover any clear up operation that is needed after they leave, As you wouldn’t want to be collecting or handling cash at these sites this should be via card payments only.

    Put all this in place and I would wager Thanet would drastically reduce these traveller visits almost overnight.

    • Obviously whilst you contributed in three part you missed the fact that the traveller community wanted too set up their own site at their own expense next to the co op petrol station but unfortunates there local residence were not happy about it. So there community themselves have been trying too find a solution only for locals to become nimby but still complain about the illegal sites. This is finally a good moved forward

    • get alife all gypsys pay there way and do have abank account please no wat your talking about befor you speak you sound so silly evyone spoke like that 20 years ago GET WITH THE TIMES luv

  4. Or you could just leave all the crap left behind when they move on for the next lot as this is what they are used to living like. Why should the council use funds to clear up behind them when they don’t pay anything towards it? They have sites in Canterbury for travellers but they don’t want to use them because it means having to conform to the way we live! We don’t want to be encouringing those back who abused everyone they came into contact with this year living like pigs. I know we have a lot of pigs living in parts of Thanet already but are these sites going to help.

  5. Tivoli has a childrens play area.Houses with residents paying full council tax and recreational land for residents of the area. Its ludicrous to have them parking up there. This cant be right. There should be somewhere for them just on the outskirts of town NOT right smack in the middle of the town amongst law abiding citizens. If this were to go ahead here at Tivoli I can see MAJOR problems arising. Be warned. Whoever thought of this area for them are stark raving mad. I would expect a large drop in council tax were it to go ahead . Surely consultation with the residents in the road should have been first and foremost before any decision was made.I for one will be seeking legal advice on this and expecting a large compensation package from the council. I would hope others living here would follow suit. Its not an area for dumping caravans where kids are or maybe at risk.

    • Rather expect it would blight the houses near by and adversely affect their value. Hardly seems a suitable site.

  6. is this council stupid the people dont want them in their back yard perhaps we need another election for theses councillors.

  7. Feckn travellers begging on my feckn door says Mrs Brown Boys star.. With a homeless shitty scam… So feckn get off our island and jog on… Take councilors who think they are worthy with you.. This place is dirty, dirty streets and roads and councilors hell bent in dealing with dirty money from offshore leaks… Feckn shitty council

  8. One thing I’ve never seen mentioned is which nation travellers are from, if the bulk of them are Irish citizens then after Brexit they wouldn’t necessarily have a right of residency. If that’s so why plan for this?

  9. Turners getting a bigger car park. So stick them there, with there mentality they could call it art.. Traveller’s why not go to north down rd with the rest of thanets unwanted.

  10. There’s no statutory duty to provide a site only to ‘assess’ provision. Also providing a site outside of town brings its own issues if like us you have no street lighting and need to (dog) walk near one of the proposed sites…

  11. If you read the law you will see the Council have no obligations to provide a site for these travellers. None of them have any THANET connections. Read the act. It sickens me that the majority are always iIgnored yet minorities always get what they want.

  12. People seem to forget that they are human beings too! I read references to “pigs” and being unwanted. How very humanitarian of you!

  13. I feel there should be a site for travellers and hopefully they will have somewhere to go with permission. I also feel there are such things called campsites. These have the amenities spoken of. I feel if the campsites are full, then sure build a local government one which helps pay for our local government services. I don’t think that the seafront carpark site it’s the best place for this campsite as we are in need of affordable parking for our tourist visitors and parking access for residents going to the beach too. If the carpark isn’t being used then maybe we need to look at using it to have more attractions that would draw more visitors to our area like a sealife centre to educate our children about our local area! There isn’t one less than an hour’s drive away.
    I feel these families should be welcome, but I don’t understand why they can’t use campsites either?

  14. some of these people on this post are pure racists but it has gave me alagh lets get the perverts out how do you no the gpsys arnt law abiding half of thanet isent you are so funny an old fashind I hope the romanys give your kids a good hideing well deserved but you wouldent say it f to face own yor own COWARDS BE HAPPPPY LIKEthem that’s wat you don’t like also they pay thereway and have bank accounts youv been watching too much telly IDIETS

  15. Permanent Travellers sites in Thanet
    Farewell and Adieu you fair Spanish ladies
    Farewell and Adieu you ladies of Spain

  16. What am I
    I pay no taxes
    I Have no fixed abode
    My name is always Smith
    I Fly tip
    I steal your cars
    Whatever I want I will take by force if necessary
    I will scam your elderly and empty their bank accounts
    I will leave piles of rubbish wherever I stop and I will leave my human waste where you walk
    I laugh in your face
    I run on Red diesel
    I steal dogs for fighting
    I hair course
    I don’t give a dam about you your property your feelings your age your laws your rights your way of life.
    And when I move on I will come back
    Not racist the unfortunate truth

Comments are closed.