Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet is being recommended to reject all six sites that had been proposed as potential Gypsy and Traveller pitch sites.
Members of the cabinet will be told that none of the sites meet the criteria to make them suitable locations for the two Gypsy and Traveller pitches that the council needs to identify as part of its latest Local Plan, which identifies sites for development and guides future planning policy.
During a six week public consultation the council received views from 749 people, as well as two petitions signed by 486 people. The comments of organisations including Derbyshire County Council, utility companies, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue and the Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group were also received.
The report recommends that the sites are ruled out on the following grounds:
- Miller Avenue, Mastin Moor – because the site is no longer available as the land is required for an affordable housing scheme.
- Bevan Drive, Inkersall – due to the potential impact on nearby ancient woodland and access problems due to on-street parking in the area.
- Brooks Road, Barrow Hill – due to access problems caused by on-street parking and difficulties in demonstrating the ability to promote peaceful and integrated co-existence between the site and the local community.
- Birchwood Crescent, Grangemoor – as it has been demonstrated that there is sufficient use and demand to continue using the land as a garage site.
- Atlee Road, Inkersall – due to access issues and the degree to which the site would overlook existing properties.
- Keswick Drive, Newbold – due to access issues and the degree to which the site would overlook existing properties.
During the public consultation the Protect Inkersall from Unnecessary Development Group proposed an alternative site for Gypsy and Traveller pitches at the junction of Whittington Road and Staveley Road between Barrow Hill and New Whittington. Councillors will be recommended to have this site assessed against the same criteria as the others that were proposed to see if it is suitable. The land is within the borough’s green belt area.
Councillors will also be told that since the public consultation was begun a planning application has been received to create three traveller pitches on land in Hady Lane.
Councillor Terry Gilby, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for economic growth, said: “We received a good response to the public consultation, with many people attending the consultation events that we held in the community and I want to thank everybody who took to the time to give their views as it has given us good information on which to make decisions.
“Planners have read and assessed all the comments which were given and are recommending to cabinet that none of these are put forward as sites within the new Local Plan when it goes out to public consultation.”
Councillors will be told that if the site proposed during the consultation, between Barrow Hill and New Whittington, doesn’t prove suitable when it is assessed then the council will need to seek a ‘windfall approach’, where the needs for Gypsy and Traveller pitches that have been identified are met purely through any planning applications that private landowners make.
Cabinet members will meet at Chesterfield Town Hall in Rose Hill on Tuesday 15 May at 10.30am to make a decision about the recommendations. The agenda and papers for the meeting can be seen on the council’s website at www.chesterfield.gov.uk/pitches, along with other information about the consultation.