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Residents in Dunham-on-the-Hill worry Travellers’ sites may never be moved after extension granted by councillors

RESIDENTS fear they will never be rid of a controversial Travellers’ site on green belt land after councillors granted another temporary extension, allowing the caravans to stay for another year.

RESIDENTS fear they will never be rid of a controversial Travellers’ site on green belt land after councillors granted another temporary extension, allowing the caravans to stay for another year.

For years residents living in Dunham-on-the-Hill, Alvanley and Helsby have battled to stop the growing number of Gypsy and Traveller caravans pitching up on fields outside their homes.

Now, despite Cheshire West and Chester Council providing a short list of permanent sites for the region, residents are worried the caravans on their doorsteps will be there for good.

The fears come after CWaC councillors granted another temporary permission for the Travellers’ site at The Paddocks on Chester Road, Dunham-on-the-Hill, despite officers originally rejecting the application four years ago and the temporary permission having to be granted on appeal.

Speaking during a CWaC planning meeting, Richard Tapley, of Dunham Hill and Hapsford Parish Council, said the one year temporary extension would simply act as a ‘stop gap measure’ and asked the council to make the promised permanent sites available by summer 2013.

Mr Tapley said the extension was purely due to the ‘delay in the new sites being available’ and asked the council to move the family on to a new site the moment one became available.

When Cllr Adrian Walmsley asked if the Traveller families living on temporary sites would be given first choice when the allocated sites became available, planning officer Fiona Edwards said it was ‘not something that planning could determine’.

Councillors unanimously voted to approve the planning application on a temporary basis for 12 months and for one of the four caravans to be a static caravan, and required that details of the restoration of the land after the use ends in a year’s time are to be agreed

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