Where should Gypsy sites go in Suffolk?

Latest breaking news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest breaking news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A public consultation seeking people’s views on where to create three official Gypsy and Traveller stopping sites in Suffolk has been stopped.

The consultation, launched last week, identified seven potential sites - with the aim of selecting three in the areas where unauthorised encampments usually occur.

However, following a number of landowners coming forward with other potential sites and early feedback from councillors and residents, Suffolk’s council and policing leaders have decided to halt the current process to enable it to be reconsidered.

It means the seven sites previously identified have therefore been dropped and a fresh list of sites will be worked on prior to public consultation.

Speaking on behalf of the elected leaders of Suffolk’s eight councils and Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore, Councillor Mark Bee, Suffolk County Council’s leader, said:“The case for creating short stay stopping sites has been well established and we’ve found a great deal of general support for what we, as public sector bodies in Suffolk, are trying to do to help solve the issue of unauthorised encampments in Suffolk.

“But what’s more important is making sure we have the right sites to consult the public on.

“A number of alternative proposals have been put forward and, in the interest of making the best decisions for Suffolk, they need to be looked at. That is why we’ve taken the early decision to stop the current consultation today and develop a fresh approach.

“This is absolutely the right thing to do to ensure we make the right decisions for Suffolk. We’re committed to working with all partners and communities to take this issue forward.”

All councillor briefings, public drop in sessions and public meetings organised by Suffolk County Council to support this process will be cancelled.

No timescales have been set for when a new consultation will be launched.