A DECISION by Cheshire West and Chester Council to issue an enforcement notice against a Gypsy caravan site on a former tip has led to an appeal.

The notice related to the use of the landfill site, which is now agricultural land, near the Brook Meadow Hotel in Heath Lane, Childer Thornton, as a residential caravan site for three Gypsy families, each with three caravans.

It came into effect in September, giving the families 28 days to move on unless an appeal was made.

In an unsuccessful application for planning permission at an earlier stage, Patrick Maloney told the council he was seeking approval for a change of use of the land.

The council had almost 130 representations arguing the Gypsy site was inappropriate in the Green Belt and there were no special circumstances.

Residents believed the change of use contravened their human rights and suggested a dangerous precedent could be set. They claimed the Gypsies had moved on from a more suitable site in Ellesmere Port.

Mr Maloney put forward special circumstances including the need for pitches in the area, the absence of alternative sites and the personal accommodation needs of the residents.

Planning officers said that ‘on balance’ a temporary permission could be granted taking account of recent appeal decisions but recommended refusal as the pitches were on a former landfill site and it had not been shown there was no unacceptable risk to human health.

Board chairman Cllr Ralph Oultram (Con, Weaver) believed the families’ decision to move on detracted from the special circumstances.

The planning application was rejected.

The enforcement issue is now to be decided by an inspector following a hearing.