COMMUNITY leaders will voice residents’ concerns when Vale Royal borough councillors meet next week to decide their next move in the controversial search for land to develop a new Gypsy/Travellers site.

The borough council has identified a need for 17-23 more permanent pitches, and land off Ship Street in Frodsham is one of five sites earmarked by outside consultants as being potentially suitable for the proposed development.

Others are New Road, Winsford; Bradford Road, Winsford; Chester Road, Sandiway, and Saxon Lane, Northwich.

Frodsham residents rallied to protect Ship Street from the potential development, and the town council lodged a formal objection after conducting its own public consultation which left Mayor Pammi Taylor “surprised by the extent and depth of feeling against this proposal”.

Residents say it would clash with the borough council's own policies contained in the Vale Royal Local Plan.

They argue the site is not on a recognised Travellers’ route, which the borough council is seeking; the development would be “inappropriate” in a heavily populated area close to a primary school, skate park and postal sorting office, and would generate more traffic in Ship Street, which is already congested.

Frodsham Council is one of many town and parish councils, community groups and other interested parties invited to send a representative to address a special meeting of Vale Royal’s Executive Group on January 15.

A report into the sites offers a number of options including deferring the issue until the shadow authority comes to power in April.

The report states: “Members may consider some or all of the sites fail the tests of acceptability on a number of grounds and it follows that if this is the case these sites should not be considered any further.

“Alternatively members may consider it appropriate to investigate the feasibility of bringing forward one or more of the potential consultation sites.”

Vale Royal’s Head of Environment Health and Housing Services, Rupert Adams, said: “We have now reached a crucial stage where councillors must decide where they want to go with this and make some recommendations.”

Frodsham Town Council will nominate a representative to attend the special meeting.

The report is available to view at