Opposition mounts to Keynsham traveller site plan

Opposition is mounting to plans by Bath and North East Somerset Council to allocate land on the edge of Keynsham as a gypsy and traveller site.

Liberal Democrat-run B&NES Council has proposed earmarking land next to Ellsbridge House on the A4 as an authorised traveller site and last week agreed to launch an eight-week consultation on the plans.


However, a recent meeting of the council’s Planning, Transport and Environment scrutiny committee criticised these proposals after strong arguments against using the land as a traveller site from the owners of Ellsbridge House.  On a motion moved by Conservative councillors, the panel agreed to ask the authority’s Liberal Democrat Cabinet to put its planned consultation on hold whilst it reviews the suitability of the proposed sites.


At the panel meeting, Chaired by Cllr Marie Longstaff (Cons, Keynsham East), fellow Keynsham Councillors Bryan Organ and Charles Gerrish spoke against the allocation of Ellsbridge House as a traveller sites.


Cllr Bryan Organ (Cons, Keynsham East), whose ward of Keynsham East includes the Ellsbridge House, said:


“The meeting heard some very strong arguments from the owners of Ellsbridge House on why the site is totally unsuitable to be used as traveller pitches, and I know that local residents are also very concerned about the plans.


“The highway access from the A4 is woefully inadequate, and turning the land into a travellers’ site would entail bulldozing a well-established woodland.  In addition to this, Ellsbridge House is soon to be reopened as a nursery and so there would be an issue of shared access to the site.  For these reasons we called upon the Council to go halt its plans and remove Ellsbridge House from its list of proposed sites.”