I’ve had quite a few people speak to me about the state of the Brookwood Lye Road site and Traveller site. I try to work on this in the background rather than publicly for the primary reason of neighbourly relations. However I will outline what I’ve done recently.
Firstly, begin by reading my blog entry from March as that gives a good overall background, although I believe the timescales have slipped to a degree because I’m not aware that the planning application is in yet.
With regards to the rubbish, it is being fly-tipped and that is almost certainly by the immediate neighbours, although it’s debateable whether it is by illegal or legal Travellers. However, right now, I’d prefer it there than elsewhere in the borough. The plan by Thameswey is not to clear it regularly, but wait until the site receives planning permission and then clear it in one go and re-secure the site.
With regards to the Travellers themselves, two thirds are living there legally as per the emerging Site Allocations that has been submitted to an inspector ready for a public enquiry. The rest are totally illegal and I have been regularly trying to get the Local Planning Authority to do something about it. Something they refuse to do for reasons unknown to me.
What I did do recently is email and speak to the Deputy Chief Executive as planning falls under his remit. I pointed out that there have been illegal Travellers there now for three odd years and nothing has happened. I also pointed out that moving them on will be incredibly difficult and timescales will be measured in years rather than days. That will obviously hold the development up at some point and increase costs.
The LPA are doing what they always do which is to write another report and fob us off for a few more months. With the political changes recently, it will become apparent over the next few days how best to proceed and escalate this.