Council to discuss proposals for creating Gypsy and Traveller pitches at land off Shottendane Road

The area proposed for the new Traveller accommodation

Thanet council is proposing to use an area of land off Shottendane Road in Garlinge to establish Gypsy and Traveller pitches.

The land, which is owned by the council, has been leased for agricultural use since 1977. Other parts of the site were put forward to be allocated for housing under the Thanet Local Plan review. If allocated for housing through the local plan review, the Shottendane Road site also offers an opportunity to further increase the supply of new affordable homes.

A report to councillors outlines proposals which, subject to public consultation and the required planning permissions, would see the council use part of the land to establish the pitches, as identified within the council’s Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment, published in 2019.

The assessment identified the need for 7 permanent pitches and 5 transit pitches. A pitch is defined as providing sufficient spaces for two caravans, two vehicles and utility blocks, supported by communal facilities.

The proposal for the Shottendane land is for two access points, one from Caxton Road and the other from Shottendane Road, with four permanent pitches and a community room, a children’s play area and an area for animals.

The report also includes proposals to transfer a section of the land to Kent County Council, for use in the proposed Major Road Network (Inner Circuit) improvements and a linked sustainable drainage scheme. This scheme is designed to reduce the pressure on the A28 and A256 trunk roads.

Following review by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on January 16, the report will be presented to Cabinet at a meeting scheduled for Thursday 25 January. If approved, the council will conduct a period of public engagement with the Gypsy and Traveller community and neighbouring residents.

Subject to the outcome of the consultation, an application will be made for outline planning permission to provide Gypsy and Traveller pitches on the land.

Cllr Helen Whitehead, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing at Thanet District Council, said: “As a council we have a legal duty to plan for appropriate sites for members of the Gypsy and Traveller community. In spite of this being a longstanding issue, and an important one, there are currently none identified in the district. I am determined to address this need, and the need to bring our communities together in understanding, respect and discussion.

“We have worked hard and will continue to work hard to identify and provide sites that work, in size and design, to ensure that we are meeting accommodation needs and supporting our community through comprehensive consultation. The proposed engagement will be key to this and we actively welcome involvement at all stages of this process.”

In 2021, a bid submitted to the government’s Gypsy and Traveller site fund for a capital grant to assist with the costs of establishing a site was unsuccessful. Delivery of the project is dependent on the appropriate funding arrangements being in place.

Thanet currently does not have an authorised Traveller site, with the nearest being in Canterbury and Dover although these are often over-subscribed.

31 Comments

  1. About time the discrimination against our nomadic people was addressed.

    These people jave been orbiting Thanet for centuries.

    A lot longer than most long-term residents of Thanet.

    We can suppose the usual anti-brigade will be on here ranting and dribbling about this that and the other.

    Suffice to say; the level of civilisation can be considered by how the more marginalised are treated in any country or region.

    Homeless Travellers on the road are internal refugees.

    • We already have a number of caravan parks in the area – why do we need another one ?

      Is it because the existing parks impose a charge whereas the ”nomadic travellers” want it for free ? ? ?

      • Rent would be payable for any site as per other areas.

        The sites you mention are holiday and residential sites and not sites for the community’s in question

  2. Well done Thanet Council for facing up to its legal responsibilities in this area. Always a touchy subject that brings out a massive outbreak of nimbyism but with careful planning and consultation it can insure fairness and proportionality for the travelling communities.

  3. It’s been previously reported that TDC cannot move unauthorised travellers from the area as Tdc haven’t met the identified need. Does this proposal not end up being a halfway measure that doesn’t help prevent further unauthorised camps?
    The identified need is 7 +5, this proposal is for only 4 , will there still be a problem in removing unauthorised encampments given the shortfall? If so why aren’t the plans sufficient to meet the identified need and so ensure such a legal impediment is not left in place in future.
    Also why do 4 plots need a community room and an area for animals ? Will there be sufficient measures in place to prevent the land becoming a waste disposal site as occurred at Ramsgate Harbour, what will rents be for the plots?
    What are the costs associated with this? Including the value of the land the council will use?

    • Imagine in this day and age whinging about not being able to ban people from living in an area!

      Alabama-on-sea?

      Ramsgate Port was a few times flytipped by those flytippers who use Travellers in an area as a cloak to carry out their crimmal acts.

      TDC is aware of this Non-Traveller tactic by flytippers and acts accordingly.

      Thanet is still looking to live down its shame of once having a UKIP council. Some residents miss the good old UKIP days.

      Incidentally; the UKIP councillors ritually handed the council staff the keys to government which helped to entrench Maddy Homer.

      The taint of that council wafted a long way into the future and still stinks.

      • I was pointing out that this proposal doesn’t meet the identified need and so leaves the problem of unauthorised camps not having the legal ability to move them on as a result. Given that there’s an obvious economy of scale of meeting the need on one site , why not do so? The flytipping occurred within the area provided for the travellers at port ramsgate , who actually did it is another thing, but it would make sense to put in place measures to prevent it happening at any new site, especially one that’s being provided with extra open space for animals.
        Anyone know the cost of clearing the port ramsgate waste?

      • Are you seriously suggesting flytippers went into Ramsgate Port and dumped all their waste in full view of the travellers and it was nothing to do with the travellers down there ?

        Wow. They did really well to tow a caravan in there, smash all the windows out and leave it for someone else to clear up too. That wasn’t the travellers either apparently.

        You’re deluded.

        • A car that was at the Ramsgate Port traveler site was used in a hit and run incident that left a teenager with broken limbs, police were informed of its location and they went after some one else for a very very serious crime. These people do not get marginalised, they don’t get bullied, they act a certain way that is outside that of the average respectful person. Stop giving free land, money and housing to non respectful lazy, non tax paying people start treating the people who pay for the whole system.

          • Your post is quite clearly one of a rather confused if not disturbed individual.

            The police will not be looking for a hit and run driver any place other than where their evidence leads them

            If it didn’t lead them to the Ramsgate Port then there will be a reason for that!

            People buy cars, especially if they are sold at a reasonable price.

            Police will obviously interviewed any new owner of the vehicle and looked else where for the culprit.

            Unless you feel the police are incompetent.

            What free land money and housing are you dribbling about?

            Social housing/accommodation should be available to all residents of Thanet. Why do you feel an ethnic minority should be excluded from this?

            Are you a racist?

            What tax are you suggesting the people on the Port don’t pay or are you in your flawed thinking suggesting all 360,000 people from the ‘Traveller ‘ communities don’t pay tax?

            The epithet ‘Traveller’is one given to the community’s members by society, not one they picked themselves.

            The main Traveller communities have proper names.

            Romany or Pavee.

            What whole system and who are these people who.pay for it not being treated and in what way?

            Again the confusion in your post is clear.

            Thanet has more and more ethnic minority people settling in the area and if you feel that is all to much for you and you ilk perhaps you may consider moving and allow more decent minded and rational people to take your place.

            UKIP and The National Front have bitten the dust and the civilised DFL have also taken up residence so racism and bigotry on this thread will soon be a thing of the past.

            If it isn’t then it will be challenged.

            It’s a telling situation when an article has to have it comments section close because the disgusting racists/bigots picking up their racist bile.

  4. More farm land being taken it’s only a matter of time before all our food will all have to be imported. Why don’t TDC buy or lease an existing caravan park that already has all the infrastructure saving the farmland for farming.

  5. Alot of if’s, no grant no site by the sound of it.
    But the site chosen is not suitable, why not give them the old Brazil Bros site, would be the best place

    • Out of interest why is the proposed site unsuitable? Is the Old Brazil site owned by the council?

    • Yes.

      Certain types of people seembto forget there is different types of communities in Thanet.

      Not all are white middle-aged dinosaurs.

      Times are changing and the Dinos can like it or lump it.

  6. How about you and your family consider living on a tip?

    Your biggoted suggestion would suggest you may feel right at home.

  7. I have personal experience of ‘travellers’ and the land they occupy .. the are no longer the gypsy clan you may think of. The ones that ended up close to me previously totally wrecked the land and its surrounding countryside to the point that it became a tip. With fights and worse..

  8. The 4x4s bought on tick road-raging you as your not doing 5x the speed limit. The 6yr olds telling you to f##k off even though your in your house? The drug abuse and fights… you really want that and the tip of a mess they create?

  9. So many bots on here. Horrific idea. These people trash everywhere they go. Dane Valley area: trashed with mounds of garbage. Rammy port: trashed with mounds of garbage.

    Hilarious that one bot blames it on criminals.

  10. Ramsgate port was left in a terrible state and had to be cleared once or twice before they were evicted.

    Dane Valley the same, PLam Bay the same, Jackey Bakers the same, Government Acre the same etc etc etc

    Proper travelling people are not a problem, these ones though are a problem!
    They don’t respect any thing and just cause headaches and mayhem

  11. Tdc, why not get full planning permission for a travellers site. Then sell the site off but give the traveller community first refusal.

  12. Question for Councillor Whitehead, who we know reads these comments.

    Can we assume that if this goes ahead and pitches are made available, then the travellers will be charged a rate per week which covers all of TDC’s overheads ? The local authority have every right to charge for provision like this and travellers should pay their way for local services like everyone else in Thanet.

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