New emergency transit site for Gypsies and Travellers to open

Cornwall’s first transit stopping site for Gypsies and Travellers will be completed and open later this month (August 2019).

Cormac Solutions Ltd carried out the works to build and install the facilities and Cornwall Housing will manage and maintain the site.

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The new transit site at South Treviddo near Liskeard, which can be used by Gypsy and Travellers for stays of up to three months in a year, provides pitches to accommodate up to 15 caravans at any one time.

Once open, the stopping place means that Cornwall Council can guide Gypsy and Traveller families away from unauthorised encampments, such as those recently seen in Bodmin and St Ives.  Instead, if appropriate, families can stay on the purpose built site which provides access to basic amenities in a secure environment. 

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council Cabinet portfolio holder for climate change and neighbourhoods, said: “Cornwall Council has a legal duty to provide these sites.  It’s really important for us to provide more emergency stopping places and transit sites across Cornwall.  Emergency stopping places and transit sites ensure that Gypsies and Travellers have access to basic amenities that our settled communities take for granted.  These amenities make a huge difference to the health and quality of life of Gypsies and Travellers.”

A successful Council bid for £825,000 from Homes England has gone towards funding the £1.75 million project, with the remainder of the cost being met by Cornwall Council.

Nick Cross, managing director for Cornwall Housing, said: “We manage and maintain the South Treviddo site located on the A38 two miles north of Liskeard. We work with Gypsies and Travellers from all over the country to organise a short stay, of up to 12 weeks, when there is nowhere else for them to legally set up camp and while they are en-route to another place.

“We also manage three other Gypsy and Traveller sites which provide 66 pitches for travellers who prefer to stay in one location for a longer period of time.”

Cormac have been appointed to carry out the design and construction of the facility at South Treviddo and ensure it’s a safe encampment for the group during their stay. The site comprises of 15 transit pitches, each with its own electrical hook-up, water supply and ablution room.  The site also includes a wardens office for managing the day to day operations of the site, a holding area for new arrivals, CCTV and security fencing.

Those staying there will be charged just over £50.00 per pitch per week, which is based on social rent levels, plus an additional charge for electricity and water used. 

Andrew Mitchell, Cornwall Council Cabinet portfolio holder for homes said: “Our Local Plan has identified a need for 60 transit pitches by 2030.  The 15 soon to be available at South Treviddo give us a quarter of what is required. We aim to provide those additional 45 pitches by building a number of new transit sites at locations across the whole of Cornwall.”

The new site will be open and available later this month.