Plans by Bath and North East Somerset Council to build a 13 pitch gypsy and traveller site near the Lower Bristol Road in Bath have been approved.
The controversial plans for the development were given the go-ahead last Wednesday during a development control committee meeting.
Plans for the traveller site have been discussed over the past year, with the Council saying it has a statutory duty to provide such a site.
A £1.8 million limit has been introduced for the building of the pitches, with amenities such as electricity, heating and hot and cold water being provided.
In February, the Council made the following statement after financial plans for the development were published.
“This area urgently needs Gypsy/ Traveller Pitches. The current plans for Lower Bristol Road would provide 13 pitches. To deliver this site, planning consent is needed.
“Part of the application will require measures to reduce noise coming from the site and safe highways access. In respect of the land, this is Council owned.
“If these measures are not delivered, it is unlikely the 13 pitch site would be able to go ahead. Reasons for providing travellers sites include:
- Over the past 10 years, there have been around 20 unauthorised Gypsy and Traveller sites across the district. In some cases, this has resulted in:
- Concerns expressed by local people and communities in which unauthorised sites have appeared due to their impact on the environment;
- Costs incurred by the local taxpayer in relation to monitoring of the unauthorised site, clean-up when the travellers have left, and planning expenditure.
- “Once the Council has allocated land for pitches and facilities are in place, we will have a firm basis upon which to take robust enforcement action on unauthorised sites.
“Improved facilities on authorised sites will result in an improved local environment and more orderly surroundings compared with unauthorised sites.”
Proposals to make a safer environment for pedestrians on the Lower Bristol Road near the site include reducing the speed limit from 60mph to 40mph and widening pavements.
It is expected the development will be completed by the end of March next year.