COUNCIL chiefs are being urged to support Knutsford haulage businesses that are currently renting a site in the town that could become home to travelling showmen.

A six-week consultation is due to begin on August 19 for the latest draft of the second part of Cheshire East Council’s local plan – formally known as the Site Allocations and Development Policies Document (SADPD).

The key planning document – which sets out new policies for up to the year 2030 – includes a proposal to use the CEC-owned lorry park off Mobberley Road for three travelling showmen plots.

It is an idea which was first mooted last year, and Knutsford Town Council has previously voiced concern at the possible loss of the lorry park.

Cllr Tony Dean, Conservative CEC member for Knutsford, told cabinet on Tuesday that companies currently paying rent to the local authority to use the site should be helped to find an alternative if the plans progress.

He said: “There will obviously be some objections, but I am absolutely certain that a lot of the objection within Knutsford could be reduced if this council could help the existing users of the site to find a suitable site nearby.

Knutsford Guardian:

“Haulage firms are currently using that site for their lorries and they pay the council their rent. There are three local companies that I know of, and probably one or two more, who are using the site.

“It is really important to get this site accepted in the town if we look after these existing businesses and find them another site.

“And if there is no council land suitable, there are two local landowners in Bruntwood and Tatton Estate who are willing to help, but I think it needs the council to help and make the rents equitable.

“I know it’s a long way in the future, but I am asking the council to be an ethical and moral landowner, and try to help local businesses make a new site to make way for the travelling showmen site should it go ahead.”

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Cllr Nick Mannion, cabinet member for environment and regeneration, confirmed he would discuss the issue with Cllr Dean at a meeting in Knutsford in ‘the coming days’.

Following the consultation, CEC’s cabinet will consider whether or not to amend the SADPD, and further consultation would then take place if it does.