Work starts on controversial traveller site in Wolverhampton

Work has started on controversial plans to build a transit site for travellers in Wolverhampton despite criticism from campaigners.

Work has started on land off Gorsebrook Road
Work has started on land off Gorsebrook Road

Plans for the site off Gorsebrook Road were backed earlier this year by Wolverhampton Council in a bid to tackle unauthorised encampments.

Campaigners argued it was the wrong area for the transit site – citing the loss of green space, the impact on the area and access to the site off a busy road.

Preparation work has now started on the project – with vegetation, mainly brambles and scrub, being cleared on the site ahead of further work being carried out.

A letter to residents from Wolverhampton Council said: "Ecological surveys have not found any protected species in the area of land intended for development.

Work has started on land off Gorsebrook Road to build a transit site for travellers in the city.

"However, Wolverhampton Council is committed to enhancing biodiversity on the site and to support this, we will ensure more trees are planted than removed.

"The new trees will be planted in existing woodland to the side of the site and also on part of the existing grassland beyond the boundary of the site.

"Work will be limited to hours between 8am and 5pm and there will be an independent ecologist on site to ensure any wildlife is safe from harm.

"Further works will take place during the rest of the year, ahead of the site opening in early 2021."

An information board is set to be installed at the site entrance with contact details on it, council chiefs have said.

They say the move will allow them to keep a High Court injunction which protects sites across the city from unauthorised encampments.

The site, which will have basic amenities, has a maximum stay period of 14 days – with travellers needing to pay a deposit and weekly rent to stay there

But it sparked fierce opposition from residents – with tensions running high at a meeting at Wolverhampton Racecourse over the development, which was later approved.

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