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Permission sought for Westhampnett traveller site

Westhampnett depot

Westhampnett depot

PROPOSALS for the Westhampnett traveller transit site have moved a step closer to completion.

Chichester District Council has submitted a planning application to its own planning department to build the nine-pitch site, which would be part of the redevelopment of the Westhampnett depot.

It was revealed last month the £1.3m project will benefit from a £630,000 grant from the Homes and Communities Agency.

The site will be situated to the south of Stane Street and surrounded by a 1.8m wall.

The maximum time people will be able to stay there for is three months and they will be charged for that period.

The site has provoked controversy among Westhampnett residents, with the district council insisting it will benefit the district as a whole.

In 2013/14, the Chichester district experienced 52 illegal encampments, a number far exceeding other districts in West Sussex.

The creation of the site allows police in the county to move illegal encampments on to the site, or escort them out of West Sussex.

Previously, landowners had to resort to the courts to gain an eviction notice.

The site could see travellers from as far away as Crawley being brought to Westhampnett, if they do not wish to leave West Sussex.

The remaining cost of the site is being shared by every district and borough council in West Sussex, as well as the county council.

Cabinet members have said the site could act as a ‘deterrent’ to travellers visiting the area.

Transit sites already exist in Hampshire and East Sussex.

However, when site plans went on display at a public exhibition in Westhampnett to get feedback from residents many spoke out against the scheme.

Former county councillor for the area Mike Hall described the plans as being the ‘wrong site in the wrong place’.

The application is available to view at www.chichester.gov.uk.

 

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