‘Show sense’ appeal over traveller site

Area: The land at Cowling Road and (inset) MP Lindsay Hoyle
Area: The land at Cowling Road and (inset) MP Lindsay Hoyle
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Leading politicians in Chorley have questioned a controversial government ruling about a travellers’ site.

Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle and the leader of Chorley Council Alistair Bradley met with Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles regarding the decision to force Chorley Council to provide a permanent travellers’ site.

The council was told to provide a site by a government-appointed planning inspector earlier in the year.

After the borough was scoured, eight sites were chosen with the preferred option being the site at Cowling Farm, off Cowling Road.

The proposed venues went out for consultation to the public.

Mr Hoyle said: “I believe the decision by the planning inspector is flawed and that is why I called for the meeting.

“The Secretary of State promised to look into this matter and discuss it with officials and I am hopeful that we will see common sense prevail.

“I want to ensure that local people are represented and I have received a number of objections to the provision of a permanent site.”

Coun Bradley added: “The council have argued all along that the establishment of an illegal encampment should not in itself be used for determining a permanent need.”

Planning Minister Brandon Lewis said: “Councils now have tough new powers to stop unauthorised traveller sites to ensure fair play in the planning system.

“Elected councillors do need to draw up a Local Plan, in consultation with local residents, to determine where new homes of all sorts should and shouldn’t go.”