A GRANT of more than £600,000 has been awarded to a council to build a short-stay traveller site.
Chichester District Council has put in plans to build a site at its Westhampnett depot to accommodate up to nine short-stay pitches in a bid to manage and reduce unauthorised encampments.
The Homes and Communities Agency has awarded the council £630,000 towards setting up the site.
Councillor Josef Ransley, cabinet member for support services, said: ‘It is a delicate balance we are facing. We have to balance the needs of the local community and the needs of the gypsy and traveller population.
‘Our district alone had 51 unauthorised encampments in the last year and there were more across the county which incurred significant cost and disruption to the taxpayer and local land owners.
‘Research and evidence shows that there is a clear gap in provision for a transit site to help manage unauthorised encampments.
‘We believe that this transit site is the best solution to assist with the problem of unauthorised encampments as it will provide an appropriate stopping site for the gypsy and traveller community, reduce disruption to our local communities and provide the police with greater powers to take action.’
Further information about the scheme has also been placed on the council’s website at chichester.gov.uk and search for transit site.