Verdict expected on £1.5m Cornwall gypsy and traveller sites
A decision is expected in the next few weeks over whether 40 new pitches for gypsies and travellers will be provided in Cornwall, at a cost of £1.5 million.
Earlier in the summer, Carrick Housing Association submitted a bid to the Homes and Communities Agency on behalf of Cornwall Council.
If successful, the application will fund around 40 pitches for gypsies and travellers on a small number of sites, although these have not yet been identified. The authority currently runs three residential gypsy sites, at Redruth, Camborne and Liskeard.
According to Government targets, Cornwall Council must provide an extra 205 pitches for gypsies and travellers, of which 159 should be residential, 40 transit pitches and six reserved for the Showman's Guild of Great Britain.
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According to the council's Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment, which was last fully conducted in 2006 and has been updated every six months since, Cornwall has a lower proportion of private sites than elsewhere in the South West and the rest of England.
Equally, the county has a higher proportion of illegal encampments than the rest of the region. Although there was a 13 per cent increase in caravan numbers between 2003 and 2005, in comparison with other counties in the South West, Cornwall has a relatively small gypsy and traveller population.
A Cornwall Council spokesman said the Homes and Communities Agency is expected to decide on whether to grant the application in the next few weeks.