THE COUNTDOWN is on to the opening of a transit travellers’ site.
Construction work has been ongoing in recent months at the Westhampnett site, in Stane Street, which needs to be running by the end of March to qualify for a £630,000 grant by the Homes and Communities Agency.
Speaking at a parish council meeting on Monday night, vice-chairman Bill Harding said he had been in contact with Chichester District Council about a couple of concerns.
The site is set to cost £1.15m in total, with all the district and borough councils in the county chipping in to jointly fund the project, making the total cost to CDC £65,000.
Cllr Harding said the council had replied to allay fears, saying he was told when it opened everything would be as was laid out in the planning application.
Once completed, the transit site will unlock powers of police to escort illegal encampments out of the county, if they refuse to go to Westhampnett.
“I think the whole thing is a political manoeuvre,” said Cllr Harding.
“I don’t really see that this is anything other than that. They’ve said themselves on several occasions off the record that they do think it might not be used. It’s just for the sake of nine pitches. Most travelling communities are bigger than that.”
The building of the county’s first transit site means travelling communities from all over the county could potentially be escorted to Westhampnett by police.