MORE than 30 residents gathered at an appeal hearing considering whether to grant permission for an existing traveller site.
The appeal, before inspector Ian Currie at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, is against Cheshire West and Chester Council’s decision to refuse permission for 10 caravans housing five Gypsy families at The Street, Mickle Trafford.
Barrister Martin Carter, for the council, said the appeal should be dismissed because of the site’s proximity to an acid tar lagoon which may pose a risk to the occupants of the site.
Mr Carter said if this first point was not accepted then the council conceded planning permission should be granted but only on a temporary basis for three years due to circumstances.
He said: “For its part the local planning authority accepts the need for pitches, the shortfall in supply – and the resulting lack of any lawful place of resort for the appellant – together with the lack of non-green belt alternatives amount to very special circumstances in this case.”
However, the permission should only be temporary as the site is in the green belt and the development is inappropriate development which causes some harm to the character and appearance of the area.
Michael Rudd, for the developers, said his client was now seeking temporary not permanent permission but for five years. He accepted the site was inappropriate development in the green belt. However, the context was a lack of alternative sites. Mr Rudd argued the proximity of the acid tar lagoon did not pose a real risk.
Mickle Trafford Parish Council, which is opposed to the site on principle, was due to give evidence during the four-day hearing.