Council chiefs insist £455k traveller site yet to be used is 'value for money'

Council chiefs say they have been able to protect public services by getting "best value for money" on a transit site for travellers that is yet to be used.

The NSP on Gorsebrook Road, Wolverhampton, has not been used since opening in September 2021
The NSP on Gorsebrook Road, Wolverhampton, has not been used since opening in September 2021

The Negotiated Stopping Point (NSP) on Gorsebrook Road, Wolverhampton, cost £455,000 to build after being budgeted at £1 million.

It opened in September 2021 and the Express & Star revealed earlier this week that it has remained empty ever since.

Labour-controlled Wolverhampton Council insists it got a good deal for the site, which costs £100 per week plus a £250 deposit for travellers evicted from illegal camps in the city.

A council spokesperson said: "The NSP has been developed on a former quarry and landfill site, and a contingency amount was built in to cover any unforeseen issues relating to the type of land.

"However, during development, it became clear that the construction work would be more straightforward than anticipated.

"In addition, we were able to work with our contractors to complete the NSP in one developmental phase rather than two, helping us to reduce costs further.

"As a result of careful budget management, our commitment to seeking best value for money from our contractors and a more straightforward construction process than originally anticipated, the final cost of the NSP was just under £455,000, meaning the council has been able to redirect a significant amount of funding to other vital public services."

The decision to build the site came amid mass opposition from residents, who raised concerns over issues including crime and environmental damage.

The city has seen a number of illegal travellers camps set up this year, including one at East Park which saw Wolverhampton Council threaten legal action after a group was said to have broken an agreement to leave.

Councillor Steve Evans said in 2020 that the cost of cleaning up sites after unauthorised encampments was around £300,000 a year.

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