The planning application for a transit site for Gypsy and Travellers at Foxfields in Ellesmere Port has been put on hold.
The following statement was issued today by Cheshire West and Chester Council, read by Cllr Angela Claydon – the council’s cabinet member for housing.
Cllr Claydon said:
“Following proposals from a cross-party members’ working group, Cabinet agreed on the 11 July to develop a planning application for a transit site for Gypsy and Travellers at Foxfields in Ellesmere Port.
“I wanted to take this opportunity to update Cabinet on progress to date. As part of the application process we conducted a public consultation.
“The consultation process has raised a significant number of issues and concerns from the local community.
“It has also created local tensions, often built on mis-conceptions of the nature of the proposals, but which have created risks to good community relations in the local area.
“We have important statutory obligations to meet the housing needs of the Gypsy and traveller population. Community cohesion and the need to bring all members of our community together are also key responsibilities of this Council.
“We have been listening very carefully to the concerns of the local community.
“In light of this I have asked council officers to put on hold all further progress with this application. The Planning Committee meeting planned for 24 October will not now take place.
“To move forward, July Council has already established a process for the council to review its approach to the management of encampments, and asked People Scrutiny to lead a process of evaluation and best practice.
“I propose that we now progress that process, in a spirit of collaboration and transparency, and bring further reports to a future meeting of Cabinet.
“I want to thank the residents and local businesses who engaged constructively in the recent consultation, and our officers for conducting a challenging process with commitment and professionalism.”