Woodley is a “hotspot” for unauthorised Traveller encampments – but there are no plans to provide official stopping sites, Wokingham Borough Council has said.

The council has praised its anti-social behaviour officers for working to evict Travellers who recently camped in Woodford and Ashenbury parks at the end of August, in a report to councillors.

Narinder Brar, the council’s community safety officer, said Woodley had hosted most of the unauthorised encampments in the borough this year, as she presented the report to councillors.

She said: “Woodley is the hotspot in terms of the number of unauthorised encampments that we’ve had. Four out of the five so far this year have been in the Woodley ward.”

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But Ms Brar admitted that the council had not identified any sites on “that side of the borough” where Travellers can safely and lawfully stop, after being questioned by councillor Andy Croy.

Councillor Croy asked if council housing and planning officers were working to include new transit sites in a forthcoming local plan – a vision for development over the next 15 years.

He said: “In the past we’ve been told one of the reasons that travellers prefer the Reading fringe is the proximity to the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

“With that in mind, and given that that is always going to be a draw for people – because if you want a baby it’s good to be close to a hospital – is there going to be any provision in the local plan update for additional sites that are more geographically convenient?”

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Ms Brar said she would need to ask council planning and housing officers before answering whether new sites are to be included in the local plan. She also noted that the council had approved additional pitches for Travellers elsewhere.

But she said there are no “transit sites” – places where Travellers can stop temporarily while on the move – anywhere in the borough, after being questioned by councillor Andrew Mickleburgh. Instead, all pitches are occupied by Travellers on a permanent or long-term basis.

Councillor Mickleburgh said: “Do we have any transit sites currently in the borough? If not, is this something that is actively being looked at?”

Ms Brar said the council would continue to look into whether it can provide transit sites, noting that these are “key” to preventing unauthorised encampments.

She said: “Do we have any? No, not at the moment. Have we explored them? Absolutely. Will we continue to do so? Absolutely as well. Transit sites has been identified as being one of the key ways of being one of the problem solving abilities in the toolkit for unauthorised encampments.”