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Council bosses to head to High Court over travellers injunction

By Richard Guttridge | Whitmore Reans | News | Published:

Wolverhampton Council bosses will head to the High Court next week for a crucial hearing on its travellers injunction.

The area of the proposed traveller transit site is currently covered in trees and bushes

The city council has applied for the injunction, which protects 60 sites from traveller incursion, to be amended, while its action on travellers will be discussed.

Bosses want three extra sites - Aldersley Leisure Village, Bantock Park and Heath Town Park - to be added to the injunction.

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They are also expected to provide an update on their efforts to create a transit site in the city where travellers can legally stay, something which has proved to be a hugely contentious issue, at the hearing on Thursday.

Tensions ran high at a meeting attended by hundreds of residents in October.

The view from Gorsebrook Road towards the land, next to Dunstall Hill Trading Estate

Wolverhampton Council said the hearing "discuss the status of the transit site and a review of the sites protected by the injunction".

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The authority has faced calls to scrap its plans for a travellers site at Gorsebrook Road, Whitmore Reans, which has led to the formation of a campaign group opposed to it.

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The backlash has put council chief in a difficult position as they insist they must press on with creating the travellers site to ensure the injunction protecting other green spaces in the city remains in tact.

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Part of the terms of the injunction are that the council must provide an area travellers can legally stay and if they don't the authority risks losing it.

A decision on the Gorsebrook Road proposal is expected to be made in January.

The planned travellers site on Gorsebrook Road

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.

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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