Buckinghamshire County Council has confirmed its intention to sell all five of its Gypsy and Traveller sites.
The sites, which will be sold as going concerns, are Green Park at Amersham, The Orchards at Chalfont St Peter, Mansion Lane at Iver, Wapseys Wood at Gerrards Cross and Bottom Waltons in Burnham.
There has been no legal obligation for Buckinghamshire County Council to provide Gypsy and Traveller accommodation since 2004 however the Council has continued to do so.
As other councils have already taken the decision to dispose of their sites preparations for sale are now being made in Buckinghamshire. Site residents and their pitches have protection under the Mobile Homes Act 1983.
The decision follows the preparation of a report which says that due to overall budget pressures and lack of funding to invest in the sites, the best long-term option is to offer them for sale to either residents or other potential landlords. The full report can be viewed on the Buckinghamshire County Council website.
Cabinet Member for Planning and Environment, Warren Whyte said the Council had worked with site residents and other partners closely throughout the lead up to the decision.
‘We recognise this is a potentially controversial move and that it will be unsettling for residents. But in the end, it’s the only viable option to properly safeguard the sites in the longer term. When it comes to marketing, the current planning conditions for each site will be made absolutely clear.‘ Mr Whyte added, ‘I want to make sure that, whoever the new owners or managers might be, that site residents have the same level of confidence that they had when we managed the sites.‘
A further, formal Cabinet Member decision will be made before any final sales are confirmed.