PROTESTERS will gather before a decision on whether Travellers will be allowed to live in two areas of Ellesmere Port and Neston is made tonight (Wednesday).
Campaigners are expected to gather outside Cheshire West and Chester Council’s HQ building in Chester at 5pm as the council decides which of five possible sites will be made available to up to 27 Gypsy families.
The sites being considered in Ellesmere Port and Neston are:
Rossfield Road, Ellesmere Port – currently a council depot. It could provide 15 residential Gypsy and Traveller pitches and be available in the medium term.
Buildwas Road, Neston – could provide 12 residential Gypsy and Traveller pitches, and also be developed in the short term.
Other sites being considered at the executive meeting, which starts at 5.30pm in the council’s Nicholas Street headquarters, are Bumpers Lane in Chester; Blakeden Lane/Browning Way in Winsford; Road One in Winsford.
Cheshire West and Chester councillor Brian Crowe (Saughall and Mollington) encouraged residents of Saughall to turn up at the council’s headquarters en masse wearing green ribbons to symbolise the Green Belt land at Oakwood Farm, Parkgate Road where a transit site – for temporary accommodation of Travellers – could be created.
The sites were shortlisted by consultant Ekosgen from 1,300 possible locations across the borough and the council hopes the allocation of the sites means the authority could fend off appeals over rejection of unauthorised developments.
In the past such appeals have been made on the grounds the council has not provided its recommended quota of sites.
Cllr Herbert Manley, executive member for regeneration, said: “If the executive approves the recommendation it is hoped it will bring CWaC within the allocated quota range of (32/45) pitches and should be sufficient to convince the planning inspectors that this authority is intent on fulfilling its obligations.”
If executive agreement is reached, it will pave the way for the authority to apply for planning permission on the sites and full public consultation will follow.