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Temporary gipsy site set to be cleared
PICKMERE residents have welcomed a decision which will see a temporary gipsy site in the village cleared by the borough authority.
The site on Spinks Lane in the village has been used as a temporary site by the Dolan family for the past four years.
The family applied to make it a permanent traveller site in 2009 but lost an appeal a year later, and decided to try again this summer.
But at a Cheshire East strategic planning meeting this month it was again rejected on the grounds the land was in the green belt and the scheme would damage the surrounding area.
Council leader Clr Michael Jones said: “We all know illegal gipsy and traveller sites are not good for residents, and the council is looking to enforce wherever it can with sound and robust policies.
“The council is looking to become known as representatives of the people and of communities, and for this reason we will be operating a robust enforcement culture at Cheshire East within accepted planning guidelines.
“We are keen to work alongside these families and fulfil our obligation to secure approved settlement sites, and we would urge the traveller community to work with us to find suitable locations.
“But until such time, the council will simply not stand by and allow an illegal gipsy and caravan site to remain on Spinks Lane in Pickmere.
“The occupied site also presents a risk to highways and spoils the character of the area, which is green belt.
“The families concerned are being given reasonable time to move off this land voluntarily.
“This is the second unsuccessful planning application submitted to the council for a gipsy and traveller site on this land.
“I have now personally written to Tatton MP George Osborne to highlight my concerns, and a response is anticipated in the very near future.”
Mr Osborne met with Clr Andrew Short, chairman of Pickmere Parish Council, and Clr Chris Tarrant to discuss their concerns regarding the application He said he was delighted to see that his Government’s new Localism Act has been used to tackle abuse of the planning system.
He said: “The public want to see fair play – everyone being treated equally and even-handedly in the planning process.
“This is a real example of local people making a difference and having their voice heard.”