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Solihull Council continues gypsy site provision process

Plans to allocate gypsy and traveller sites in the borough have been given the thumbs up by Solihull councillors

Solihull Council
Solihull Council

Plans to allocate gypsy and traveller sites in the borough have been given the thumbs up by Solihull councillors.

At a Cabinet members agreed to press on with the draft proposals ahead of consultation.

Councillor Bob Sleigh (Con, Bickenhill) said: “Many of the sites have been there for many, many years and never had a problem.

“This is a land use strategy not a planning application.

“We have taken a very clear view of potential conflicts.”

But Trevor Eames, from Solihull Ratepayers' Association, questioned why one of the sites, The Uplands, in Dickens Heath, was still to be included following local opposition.

“We emphasised the controversial planning history of the site and warned that its designation for three pitches would open a door to future incremental expansion that the planning process as applied to gypsy and traveller sites would find difficult, if not impossible, to control,” he said.

“We feel the council has not paid due regard to the very legitimate concern over the future impact this application would have on the local environment and character of the area in what is a greenbelt location.

“Enforcement actions going back years are still pending over the Uplands site.....and it is estimated that the grant of consent for each gypsy pitch increases its value by £100,000.”.

However Councillor Ian Hedley, leader of the Lib Dems, said: "The aim is that, with official sites there won’t be any unauthorised ones"

The four sites going forward to the next stage of the process are:  Old Damson Lane (11 pitches) The Warren, Bickenhill Lane (five pitches) The Uplands, Dickens Heath (four pitches) and The Haven

 

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