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4. Travelling Showpeople

4.1 There are two privately owned Travelling Showpeople sites in the Borough at St John’s Street, Kempston and Great North Road, Wyboston. There are no outstanding planning permissions or other proposals for additional provision for Travelling Showpeople.

4.2 The East of England Plan single issue review Policy H4 set out the requirements for the provision of Travelling Showpeople in Bedford, Central Bedfordshire and Luton. An appropriate split between the authorities was agreed in 2010. On this basis, the required amount of accommodation for Bedford Borough is 8 plots.

4.3 The Council’s policy on provision for Travelling Showpeople, is set out in Policy CP9 of the Core Strategy and Rural Issues Plan. The policy applies borough-wide.

4.4 Policy CP9 provides the search sequence for the provision of sites for Travelling Showpeople directing development to sites within and adjoining the urban area and Settlement Policy Areas or, where no such sites are reasonably available or suitable for the use, in the countryside. This is provided that a number of site specific criteria relating to need, access, landscaping, amenity, accessibility of community facilities, scale of the development and flood risk are all clearly met. More about the background to the Council’s approach to making provision for Travelling Showpeople can be found at paragraph 1.23 in Chapter 1.

Policy AD19 Land at Manton Lane, Bedford

Land at Manton Lane shall be developed for Travelling Showpeople. Key principles of development include:

  1. Development to avoid overhead powerline constraint.
  2. Buildings restricted to 1 storey in height (4.5m) to reduce impact.
  3. Landscape enhancement required along ridgeline (on- and off-site).
  4. Improvements to pedestrian access and cycle network.
  5. Public transport improvements.
  6. Pre-determination archaeological evaluation.

4.5 Development of the site is constrained by its ridgeline location and powerlines. The location of buildings and on-site storage within this site will be important. Further work will need to be undertaken to ensure that the site design takes full account of the constraints but it is estimated that the site may have capacity for a number and range of plots from one to perhaps as many as eight. This is entirely dependent on the specific nature of the end user’s requirements and the policy therefore does not refer to a specific number of plots. The site is near an existing traditional employment area and there is a current on-street parking problem on this part of Manton Lane. On-street parking controls may be needed to afford two way traffic movements. Possible contaminated land issues need to be assessed and resolved. On and off-site landscape enhancements will be required.

4.6 Pre-determination archaeological evaluation work is required due to potentially significant archaeological remains on this site. This will establish the nature and complexity of the surviving archaeological deposits and must be undertaken prior to the submission of any planning application. It will allow due consideration to be given to the archaeological implications of development and may lead to proposals for mitigation and/ or the need for further investigation.

4.7 Regarding the delivery and management of the site, it is anticipated that on the completion of the plan process the site will be made available for private sale by tender. Where a site is owned by Travelling Showpeople the Council will not have any involvement in the day to day management of the site.

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