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GORDON HENDERSON MP

FOR SITTINGBOURNE & SHEPPEY

Gordon will oppose Bobbing traveller site

Local Conservative parliamentary candidate, Gordon Henderson, has come out firmly against the proposal by Kent County Council to buy a plot of land just south of the Bobbing Apple on which to build a traveller site.

Mr Henderson made his views clear following a packed public meeting in Bobbing Village Hall last night (Monday 22nd Feb), organised by Bobbing Parish Council, at which local residents were giving an opportunity to have their say on the County’s proposal.

Mr Henderson said:

“I didn’t speak at the meeting because I felt this was an opportunity for residents to have their say and I didn’t want to be accused of using the meeting to score party political points.

“However, I would like to make clear that I will be opposing any planning application for a permanent traveller site on this site because in my mind it is quite unsuitable for residential development. I am certain that if a housing developer put in an application to build homes on this site it would be turned down because of its location.

“Unfortunately, we now have a two tier planning system which gives travellers special treatment where developments are concerned. In addition there is huge pressure on local authorities to find more traveller sites, which sometimes forces them to consider otherwise unsuitable land.

“That is not the fault of Swale Borough Council or Kent County Council, it is Labour ministers who issued the “diversity and equality” planning guide which has forced councils to meet top-down targets for traveller camps.

“Conservatives disagree with top-down building targets, whether for travellers camps or new houses and we will abolish regional planning and revoke John Prescott’s guidance.

“We cannot go on like this, which is why one of my first priorities should I be elected will be to press for a change in planning rules to make them fair to all and not give preferential treatment to specific groups.

“This is not about demonising the travelling community, it is simply about equality and fairness.”

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