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No evidence of need for Gypsy sites, claims Barnet Council
COUNCIL bosses claim there is no evidence to support the need for Traveller pitches in the borough despite being told by the Mayor of London they may have to find space for 16.
The latest documents outlining the number of Gypsy and Traveller sites each borough will have to provide, put forward by Boris Johnson, show the Barnet's share has been cut from 22.
But Barnet Council officials remain adamant they can find no suitable locations in the borough and claim other councils will have to accommodate much smaller numbers.
A statement from the council said it “welcomes the Mayor's reduction” in the numbers proposed in the draft London Plan, but added: “It notes that most other boroughs’ reductions are significantly larger.
“The council has in the past carried out research into potential sites and remains concerned that there may be no suitable locations for a site in Barnet, and that the evidence does not support the need for a site in the borough.”
Across London the number of proposed sites has been cut by 300 in the draft plan after Mr Johnson admitted the initial target of 538 “could not be justified, nor achieved”.
He said he wants to make “real progress” in improving the capital's “poor record” in increasing Gypsy and Traveller sites. But Barnet borough would still have to bear the joint third highest allocation in London, with neighbouring boroughs of Harrow, Brent, Haringey and Enfield only sharing an allocation of 22 between them.
Council staff confirmed they will formally respond to the Mayor in more detail “in the coming weeks”.