Traveller site appeal success

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Cheshire East Council has been successful in a controversial Traveller site appeal.

The Secretary of State for communities and local government has upheld a decision by Cheshire East Council not to give planning permission for a pitch for up to two Travellers caravans on land off Moor Lane, Mobberley. This overturns an earlier decision on appeal that went against the Council.

This decision comes forward at the same time that the Council has announced plans for a transit site for Gypsies and Travellers.

A site has now been identified on Cledford Lane, Middlewich, which has the potential to accommodate 10 pitches and is being progressed currently through the pre-application stage of the planning process. Cheshire East is in negotiations with the owners of the site with a view to purchasing it.

The site application was rejected by the Council's strategic planning Board in November 2012, but that was overturned on appeal by the applicant. Now the Secretary of State has upheld the Council's original refusal of appeal.

The Secretary of State said the site was an 'inappropriate development in the greenbelt' and that 'harm arising from the development' would not be outweighed by other considerations.

Cheshire East has experienced a significant rise in the number of illegal encampments across the authority, with 78 being reported between January 1 and November 3 of this year.

These encampments have had a significant impact — not only on local residents but also on businesses too.

A recent Gypsy and Traveller accommodation needs assessment by the Council identified a requirement of between five and 10 transit pitches.

Cheshire East took active steps to commission a site identification study, with the aim of finding a suitable site which could be put through the planning process.

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