Chosen traveller site goes forward

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Plans for a permanent gypsy and traveller site in Chorley have moved forward.

A site at Cowling Farm will go to the Planning Inspectorate as the proposed location after Chorley Council was instructed by the Local Plan Inspector to allocate one for a minimum of five permanent traveller pitches.

The move was approved - 29 votes for, 13 against and one abstention - at a special meeting of the council in Chorley on Thursday evening.

A six-week consultation exercise sought views on Cowling Farm and eight other sites that were not proposed for allocation. After analysing the results of the consultation councillors agreed to choose Cowling Farm as the site to put forward to the Planning Inspectorate in order to progress the Local Plan to adoption.

Council leader Alistair Bradley said: “We had to undertake a fresh assessment of the gypsy and traveller site provision in Chorley after being told to do so by the Government and that study showed that there is a need.

“As a result we now have to move forward as directed by the inspector or risk legal challenges to our as yet un-adopted Local Plan, which may result in unwanted speculative planning applications on green field sites/safeguarded land in and around our towns and villages, as we have previously experienced.”

It is anticipated a final decision to allocate the site will be taken by the council in February.