Controversial Wolverhampton travellers site plans submitted by council
Controversial plans for a legal travellers site in Wolverhampton have been officially submitted by the city council.
The move to allow travellers onto land on Gorsebrook Road, Whitmore Reans, has sparked a major backlash in the area.
But the council is pressing on with the plan, which it says it must get passed in order to ensure other green spaces across the city remain protected.
Interactive map shows site of the land:
A 21-day consultation will now follow and a final decision will be made by the council's planning committee.
Bosses fear they could lose an injunction granted by the High Court which protects key sites if they can't prove they have provided somewhere for travellers to go.
The planning application is for pitches to accommodate a maximum of 13 families as well as washing and toilet facilities.
The city council says the site, near the Winning Post pub, has been subject to antisocial behaviour and fly-tipping but locals insist it should be preserved.
A petition has been launched against the proposal, while tensions flared at a recent public meeting on the issue.
WATCH: Heated public meeting over traveller site plans
Councillor Steve Evans, environment boss at Wolverhampton Council said: "It has been 12 months since we obtained the injunction and I’m pleased to have seen a vast reduction in traveller incursions, 75 per cent to be exact.
“If we fail to provide the High Court with evidence of substantial progress of locating a site, we are at risk of losing the injunction – it’s as simple as that.
“If we lose the injunction, we will almost certainly revert back to a huge increase in traveller incursions, leaving our open spaces at risk and resulting in officers having to wait for a court order to vacate illegal incursions.
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“A lot of detailed work has taken place to date and I would like to thank council officers who have been working tirelessly to ensure all steps ordered by the High Court have been implemented so we can continue to protect our open spaces.”
Gemma Taylor, from the Save St Peter's Ward's Green Space, who lives in Glentworth Gardens, said: "The group is not very happy with the plans – the council is definitely not listening to us.
"It looks like they are cutting a lot more trees down and because of that we will hear so much more noise.
"But we're going up against them – we're not giving up.
"We've got our arguments ready and we're prepared for it – they're not prepared for us."
The plans are available to view at Gatis Community Centre or via the planning portal on the council’s website.