A BROOKWOOD Councillor has praised Woking Borough Council for their efficient approach to dealing with what could have become a controversial traveller site issue.
Land in Hook Heath, at the junction of Bagshot Road and Heath House, was acquired in early September by a buyer looking to convert it into a gypsy site. But the area lies within the 400m buffer zone of Brookwood Heath, which is a designated Special Protection Area.
Cllr Kevin Davis said that Woking Borough Council had the foresight to make early moves to address the situation by independently seeking a temporary injunction at the High Court to prevent the SPA being turned into a traveller site.
A second hearing on Friday involved all parties attending the court, where it was agreed to extend the injunction by a year, in which time travellers can apply for proper planning permission through the same formal channels as any other applicant.
Conservative Cllr Davis said: “The council have protected the SPA. It is good news that they have been able to maintain control of the site, ensuring that the Brookwood Heath Special Protection Area is fully protected as per the European directives.
“Hopefully a planning application will be forthcoming and the local authority can deal with it in the proper way through fair and appropriate methods, as is the process with all applications.”
Unlike scenarios elsewhere involving issues with unofficial traveller sites, Cllr Davis praised the fact that, due to the early action of taking precautionary measures, nothing controversial has arisen. He was pleased that things have been settled in an amicable manner from all parties’ point of view.
He added: “It has been a very calm and measured situation with the council doing an excellent job.”