Work starts on traveller site near Shaftesbury
An environmentally-friendly travellers' site will be built near Shaftesbury - and is due to open in June.
Work started this week on the site off the A30, which will be managed by Dorset County Council. Residents will need to pay rent for their pitches.
The site will provide hard standings for eight caravans, with two amenity blocks with showers, toilets and laundry facilities. The existing access road to a former site on adjacent land will be extended to the new site.
Cllr Graham Carr-Jones, housing portfolio holder at North Dorset District Council, said: "I am pleased that we have been able to start building this site, which goes some way to providing much-needed accommodation for traveller families that already live in our community.
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"This site will be well managed, working with the community in Shaftesbury."
Around £1million of funding for the site will come from the Homes and Community Agency, while Dorset County Council has designed and built it in partnership with North Dorset District Council.
The design is environmentally friendly, with a mound being created with native species to attract wildlife - which will also screen the site. This will make it quieter for the travellers and less obstructive for nearby residents.
The amenity blocks and manager's office will include sedum roofs which will help insulate the buildings and soak up rainwater.
Councils across Dorset are considering sites for travellers in accordance with new government guidelines, which require local authorities to provide sites for travelling communities. Residents in Dorset gave over 10,000 responses to the county council, along with 32 petitions following a period of public consultation.
Dorset County Council leader Cllr Angus Campbell said: "It is now necessary to provide such sites and this is a valuable step forward in providing a secure and safe place where travellers can stay."