OUTRAGED residents are hitting back at the council after they allowed Travellers to continue living next to a shooting range, saying this will put the lives of children in danger.
Homeowners living near the site became concerned when caravans moved on to the former agricultural land at the Nursery, Brown Ridings, Bradley Lane, Frodsham, and work began clearing the field to make way for layers of permanent hard standing over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.
Now, despite the fact the site is just a stone’s throw away from popular Catton Hall outdoor activity centre and shooting range – which protesters feel puts the safety of the nine Traveller children at risk and that the site would destroy the character of the green belt – councillors have granted the Travellers temporary planning permission on the site for the next 12 months.
During a Cheshire West and Chester planning board meeting, former Mayor of Frodsham Cllr Andrew Dawson said the site was both an ‘inappropriate’ and ‘dangerous’ place for anyone to live.
“I accept everyone has to live somewhere but this is an inappropriate site even for this temporary use,” said Cllr Dawson, who said many residents had complained the site was unlawfully occupied and a large amount of hard standing had already been laid there.
“It is cheek by jowl with a clay pigeon range and it is inappropriate to have shotguns being fired close to children.”
Despite years of developing a short list of sites for the borough, planning officers told councillors that none of the sites was immediately available and that new sites were not being considered during the temporary planning applications.
Mayor of Frodsham Cllr Lynn Riley said there was no policy support for development on the site which was in ‘an unsuitable and dangerous location’, and that the medical facilities and schools attended by the family were a considerable distance from Frodsham.
But Cllr Jill Houlbrook suggested ‘a deliberate decision’ had been taken to go on the site and reluctantly moved permission subject to a condition the approval should only apply to named residents.
Councillors approved planning permission for the site, which will see nine children and three adults living near the outdoor leisure facility, with temporary permission for 12 months.