Councillors have approved plans for a six week consultation into proposals for two new permanent pitches for Gypsies and Travellers.
Chesterfield Borough Council is required by the Government to find out what the need is for Gypsy and Traveller accommodation in the borough and find sites to meet that need. Our requirement is for sites to house four permanent pitches for Gypsies and Travellers in the borough as it develops its new Local Plan, which will guide future planning and development in the area.
Two of these have already been provided, meaning a site or sites for two further pitches are required.
The consultation will run between 9am on 12 February and 5pm on Monday 26 March on six potential site options where the two pitches could go. These potential sites are:
- Miller Avenue, Mastin Moor
- Bevan Drive, Inkersall
- Brooks Road, Barrow Hill
- Birchwood Crescent, Grangewood
- Atlee Road, Inkersall
- Keswick Drive, Newbold
Councillor Terry Gilby, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for economic growth, said: “Our cabinet is being asked to approve what would be the first of several stages of public consultation and involvement before a final decision is made.
“By identifying new sites where Gypsies and Travellers can stay legally, the Government hopes the number of illegal encampments can be reduced, which can cause disruption to local residents and cost tax payers’ money to clean up sites that have been used.”
Pitch sizes can vary from 500 to 2,000 square metres and must be capable of containing a single storey building, a large trailer and touring caravan, parking space for two vehicles and a small garden area where families can stay on a long-term basis.
Gypsies and Travellers staying on sites of this type would be required to pay Council Tax and other utility bills as any other property in the area.
All potential sites are assessed against a range of criteria to test their suitability including their size, accessibility to local services, the impact a site may have on neighbouring properties or green belt or countryside areas, and road safety and accessibility issues.
Councillor Gilby added: “Following the consultation we may identify up to two sites to put forward to provide proposed Gypsy and Traveller pitches in the Local Plan. This will then be examined at a public planning inquiry by an independent planning inspector where the public will be able to give their views.
“Any site would also require planning permission, which would also involve a further public consultation before a decision is made.”
The consultation will run for six weeks and will be available online at www.chesterfield.gov.uk/pitches from Monday 12 February. The site also has information including answers to frequently asked questions.
Paper copies will be available at the council’s Customer Service Centre in New Square or Chesterfield Library on Beetwell Street.
The quickest and easiest way to respond is by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, written comments can be sent to Strategic Planning and Key Sites, Town Hall, Rose Hill, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S40 1LP.