A letter to Gordon Birtwistle MP from the Minister of State responsible for planning has confirmed it is for Burnley Borough Council to decide whether this town needs a travellers’ site or not.
Gordon Birtwistle wrote to the government minister following the Council meeting in October seeking confirmation that Burnley Council can choose to accept or reject the permanent travellers site proposals. The Minister has confirmed that Burnley has “the freedom and responsibility to objectively assess their own traveller site needs... based on robust evidence”.
Gordon said, “Based on this clear guidance from the Minister, Burnley Borough Council can decide the future of permanent travellers’ sites. The report from Salford University clearly states ‘There is no evidence of significant need for permanent accommodation arising from the presence of unauthorised encampments within the two boroughs.’”
Furthermore, the Minister also rejects Labours claim that the government is imposing this on Burnley. In fact, he points out that while the Labour government ‘imposed top-down traveller pitch targets on local councils’ the Coalition government has revoked this, returning planning policy for travellers' sites to local authorities such as Burnley Borough Council.
See below for the full letters from both Gordon and the Minister.
You can sign our petition against the permanent travellers' sites here.