Cheshire West and Chester Council has stressed that no decisions have yet been made on the allocation of sites for Travellers.
It commissioned consultants to look at potential sites – as part of its Local Plan Part Two consultation and in line with a Government requirement for local authorities to meet the housing needs of all sections of the community – and 26 were shortlisted, only 12 of which were deemed suitable.
Chair of the Local Plan Working Group Cllr Bob Bisset explained that the CWaC’s adopted strategic plan identifies a need for a number of pitches for Gypsies and Travellers and plots for travelling show-people, as well as a transit site for Travellers to use when passing through the borough.
“Previously, where illegal encampments have been established in our borough, we have not had the power to remove them as we have not had suitable sites for families to relocate to,” said Cllr Bisset.
“We appointed consultants to identity sites that may be suitable for travellers. The starting point for this process was to identify land previously submitted as potentially being available for development.”
Tarvin Action Group has formed to oppose any future plans to use the site for Traveller accommodation and to let villagers know it is being considered for such use.
But Cllr Bisset has clarified that the consultants’ recommendations are not concrete proposals.
He said: “It should not be assumed that sites identified in the study have been put forward by landowners for traveller sites, or that these sites will be made available for that use by the relevant landowner.
“Further work is required before the council shortlists sites which will include full consultation with landowners, stakeholders and the wider public.
“We would emphasise that landowner intentions will be a key consideration in this process.”
Members of the public are invited to have their say on the study’s recommendations by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or clicking here .
The consultation deadline is 5pm on Friday (September 23).