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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 January 2006, 14:38 GMT
Travellers could use picnic site
A picnic site could be the answer to long-running tensions sparked by traveller camps in County Durham.

Large groups of travellers converge on the Teesdale area of the county each year on their way to and from the Appleby Horse Fair in Cumbria.

A working party was set up in an effort to find temporary sites which could be used by traveller groups.

It has now agreed to explore the possibility of using Broomielaw picnic area near Barnard Castle.

The working party includes representatives from Durham County Council, Teesdale District Council, Durham Police and traveller groups.

Stopping places

Scott McInally, of Durham County Council's travellers' liaison service, said: "The picnic area has been used by Gypsies and travellers in the past, and is presently being occupied by a number of campers.

"But before the site can be officially adopted, issues relating to planning and the provision of facilities will have to be explored and the views of all interested parties taken into account.

"The working group will continue to look at the possibilities for identifying other areas to ensure that there are sufficient stopping places during the Appleby Fair period."

Other sites along the busy A688 are also being considered as temporarily accommodation sites.

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