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Anger over car park plan for travellers staying at Wolverhampton transit site

By Peter Madeley | Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Land next to Wolverhampton Science Park will be used as a car park for travellers staying at a controversial new transit site, it has been confirmed.

A council owned plot next to Wolverhampton Science Park is set to be used as a car park for travellers

The authority says the Science Park carpark will be used to store the 'day to day' vehicles of traveller families staying at the Gorsebrook Road transit site.

It has prompted fresh fury from residents, amid claims that council bosses have misled the public after the location of the car park was omitted from official planning documents.

The council's planning application said: "When in use, the site will accommodate no more than 13 caravans – the vehicles used daily by the occupants will be stored in allocated car parks, off site."

The location of the car park has since been revealed in an email from planning officer Tracey Homfray.

She wrote: "I have now received confirmation, that the car park to be used is at the Science Park."

The council-owned pay-and-display car park is off Showell Road, Wolverhampton

The Science Park, which hosts more than 80 businesses and is run by the University of Wolverhampton, is 500m away from the planned transit site, which will cater for up to 13 traveller families for up to a month at a time.

The scheme, which is out to consultation, has been widely opposed by residents, who fear it will lead to increased crime in the area, traffic congestion and damage to the environment.

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Stuart Anderson, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Wolverhampton South West, said: "The location of the car park has only come to light after residents made inquiries to the council.

"No one in the Science Park or its surrounding areas were informed about this. People are furious and it is clear they have been misled by the council.

"From the very start, this consultation process has been flawed.

"It is not fair on residents or businesses and we are calling for this planning application to be halted immediately."

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Campaigner Lesley Stamps has raised concerns over the lack of detail in the planning application.

She said: "How are people expected to make an informed decision about the planning when documents are drip-fed on line?"

Danielle Taylor, a spokesperson for Wolverhampton Council, said: "Following our consultation with local residents and businesses, these measures have been introduced to enhance road safety and mitigate the impact of on-street parking in the locality.

"The car park in question, which is within walking distance of the proposed transit site, is not on the Science Park complex itself and is owned by the local authority.

"Usage records indicate this car park usually has 90 per cent of its spaces available and unused.

"As such, the car park will easily be able to accommodate the handful vehicles that may wish to use this facility without any detrimental impact to local businesses.

"This principal is detailed clearly and overtly in the planning application, when asked for further details, we have provided them."

The scheme is due to go before the council's planning committee for approval.

Peter Madeley

By Peter Madeley
@P_Madeley_Star

Political Editor for the Express & Star. Responsible for local and national political stories, opinion, comment and analysis.

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