West Sussex depot will be turned into a travellers’ site

Fly-tipping in Harold Road. Picture: Andrew Pearce

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PLANS for a short-stay site for travellers have been approved for a council depot in West Sussex.

Councillors at Chichester District Council voted to give the go-ahead to the plans for its Westhampnett Depot in a bid to reduce unauthorised encampments.

Planning permission will now be sought to change the use of the land from depot use to use as a transit site to accommodate up to nine short-stay pitches.

The site will be jointly managed by the police and other councils in West Sussex.

Chichester’s leader Councillor Heather Caird 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 past 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 a transit site is the best solution.

‘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 and reduce disruption.’