Complaints down thanks to new Bridlington gypsy site

Entrance to the new gypsy site on Woldgate.
Entrance to the new gypsy site on Woldgate.

THE number of complaints over unauthorised gypsy encampments has reduced in the past year.

A report by Nigel Leighton, director of environment and neighbourhood services at East Riding Council, shows a slight decrease in the number of complaints received in the October 2011 to October 2012 period.

Figures show 96 complaints, a reduction from 103 the previous year.

This follows the opening of the £1.4 million refurbished gypsy site earlier this year, which offers a 22-pitch site with a site office and site-based support assistant.

Mr Leighton said: “Within those figures there has been a significant reduction in encampments in the East Wolds and Coastal Ward since the refurbishment of the Woldgate site.”

The new site, which is across Woldgate from the previous site, was built after the former location became unusable due to fundamental problems with the land on which it was built.

Paul Bellotti, head of housing and public protection at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “The council has seen a reduction in the number of reports of unauthorised encampments in the East Riding. This is, in part, because of the development of a new site at Woldgate, Bridlington, and the council using its powers, as far as it is able, to bring to an end unauthorised encampments, which cause nuisance to local communities.

“The purpose-built site has allowed the council to allocate a number of families, who had previously been occupying the roadside, a permanent pitch at Woldgate.

“The new site at Woldgate forms part of a programme to improve all of the council’s traveller sites, using national funding ring-fenced from the Homes and Communities Agency. Work has also concluded at the Eppleworth Road site, near Cottingham, and is scheduled to commence at the Woodhall Way site.”

Bridlington Town Mayor Councillor Charlesworth said: “I think the council has provided facilities for them which they should use and not infringe on public land, because while they are on it nobody else can use it.”

An unauthorised encampment had been set up earlier this year on Bessingby Road close to the McDonald’s restaurant on the Bessingby Retail Park.