A petition against a permanent Gypsy and traveller site in Warwick was handed in to the district council’s full executive committee on Wednesday.
Warwick councillors Elizabeth Higgins, Bob Dhillon, Michael Kinson and Linda Bromley have all received protests about the last-minute addition of Stratford Road to the district’s short-list of preferred traveller locations in the Local Plan.
Cllr Les Caborn (Con, Lapworth), deputy leader of Warwick District Council, said the 40 acres surrounding Severn Trent sewage works, opposite the Chase Meadow estate, was a late inclusion which would still need to go up for the statutory six weeks of consultation period – probably in mid-October.
He said the 458-name petition would be considered the first formal objection when the process started. And he pointed out that mapping, health and safety, flooding, ecology and other surveys on the site still had to be carried out.
One advantage is that the district council owns half the land, with Severn Trent and a private landowner owning the rest.
Severn Trent managers have initially expressed their dissatisfaction with the idea of a traveller site – they put the spare land available for possible employment use which would allow the water company to use modern methods to reduce the ‘cordon sanitaire’ – a protective health and safety barrier around the site.
Earlier this month some members of Chase Meadow Residents’ Association demonstrated outside the sewage work to publicise their petition.
Cllr Higgins, who represents Warwick West, is concerned about the potential loss of property values to young couples who have invested in their first homes on the Chase Meadow estate.
The councillors also suggested alternative sites be looked at - including the old Ford Foundry car park in Leam-ington, the former Travis Perkins site on Old Warwick Road, Leamington, and the county council’s salt depot by junction 15 of the M40, the Longbridge Island interchange.