Family want permission for permanent gypsy/traveller site in Braes

Planning permission is being sought to use a rural brownfield site near Slamannan as a permanent gypsy/traveller site that will keep a family together.

By Kirsty Paterson
Tuesday, 30th July 2019, 5:46 pm
The family want to have a permanent site rather than being nomadic
The family want to have a permanent site rather than being nomadic

The Hughes family already owns the land to the south-west of Todsbuchts Farm, two miles west of Slamannan, and it now wants permission to use the site as a permanent base as severe health problems mean some family members cannot cope with a traditional life on the road.

The application seeks to create five pitches, each with three caravans per pitch – one principal and two touring – with access via a private road, behind new stone walls and metal gates.

There will also be amenity blocks, a storage area, landscaping and a parking area.

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Representatives for the family say the site will create a “safe and secure environment” and give them a chance to create a home and a base to live in accordance with their culture and lifestyle.

Having a permanent home will also make it easier for the family to access health services.

In support of their application, a representative told Falkirk Council: “As with other families in the gypsy/travelling community an importance is placed on extended family bonds and family descent.

“This site allows the applicant to retain these important links bringing together the extended family.”

It adds: “Without a site to go to the only alternative the family would have is back on the road, forced to use unauthorised sites. This would lead to a breakdown in the family structure and family bonds evident on the site.”

It also argues that under the Homelessness (Scotland) Act 2003, any Gypsy/Traveller family are deemed homeless if they do not have anywhere official to site their caravan and Falkirk Council will be duty bound to find the accommodation in accordance with their culture and lifestyle.