ANGRY villagers shouted and shook their fists as plans for two Travellers sites within two miles of each other were approved by council planners.
For the past five years the Travellers site in Towers Lane has incited anger among Alvanley and Helsby residents.
Travellers are to remain for another two years after councillors approved a second temporary planning permission.
On Tuesday Cheshire West and Chester councillors faced a furious backlash from residents as plans for a new Travellers site were approved in a field just two miles down the road.
More than 40 residents from Dunham-on-the-Hill waved their fists and shouted ‘rubbish’ and ‘there is going to be trouble’ before storming out as the plans for the site in Hillcrest, Chester Road, were temporarily approved.
Despite almost 100 objections from residents, disapproval from the parish council and an injunction preventing caravans on the Green Belt land, members of the Chester West and Chester Council (CWaC) planning committee granted the two-year application.
MP for Weaver Vale Graham Evans slated the decisions as ‘ridiculous’ and ‘spineless’, saying the settlement of Travellers was a ‘growing and widespread problem in Cheshire’.
Cllr Lynn Riley said the Tower’s Lane saga had been a long battle, saying the new site added to the high concentration of Travelling communities in the area.
“We are looking at seven or eight sites within a very small area, because these consistencies lie on the Gypsy and Travellers route,” she said.
“The Travellers will have the right to apply for another application in two years, however, if we offer them an alternative site and they refuse to move then the council will take enforcement action.”
Gowy Ward councillor Eleanor Johnson said the Dunham-On-The- Hill decision would have a detrimental impact on the Green Belt land, and said: “We have nothing against the Travellers.
“All that anyone wants is for the impact on the Green Belt to be dealt with on an even playing field.”
The original recommendation was for a three-year temporary application, which would give CWaC officers time to identify a suitable alternative sites, but this was argued down to two years.
Alvanley parish clerk Derek Bowker said: “We would have liked to have seen the permission refused all together, but in the present circumstances this result was the best we could have expected.
“Action must be taken for something to be done by the council to resolve this ongoing situation.”
Twenty representations were made in favour of the Dunham-On-The-Hill application, and in both cases the Travellers say there are no other pitches available and are entitled to stay on the sites and settle in the community.