Warwick District councillors are being advised to “look again” at the Green Belt to find another permanent site for Gypsies and travellers.
The advice will be given at next Wednesday’s executive committee meeting when a report by officers’ firmly recommends the abandonment of plans to establish a site for travellers on several acres of land close to Chase Meadow housing estate in Warwick.
The land off Stratford Road is partly owned by Severn Trent. Its late addition to the council’s original eight “preferred options” for traveller sites in the district sparked controversy last year.
There were 700 responses to a consultation document and a 327-strong petition of objection supported by Warwick councillors like Elizabeth Higgins, Mike Kinson, Linda Bromley and Mandy Littlejohn.
All are aware that the district does have a legal obligation to find space for two permanent Gypsy and traveller sites and one transit site.
It is still hoped one permanent site for 15 pitches (holding approximately 30 caravans) will be established at Harbury Lane, on the Leamington Football Club ground.
Another a short-stay transit site is earmarked for Europa Way. But the hundreds of objections to Stratford Road, along with a refusal by Severn Trent to sell any of its land, appears to have scuppered the council’s aim of using some of the 40 acres off Stratford Road.
A report published ahead of next week’s executive meeting states: “Officers now feel they have exhausted the potential supply of land for sites in the non-Green Belt area of the district...it is therefore proposed we consider potential sites within the Green Belt.
“In order to make this a fair process it is considered important to also revisit sites that have been previously rejected on the basis that they are in the Green Belt and therefore should not be developed.”