Published July 31, 2018 at 15:17
Rossendale Council has today issued the following statement:
We are aware of the intense public debate being generated around the proposed allocation of a stopover site for Travellers at Futures Park in Bacup, as instructed by the Government as part of our Local Plan.
We are committed to being transparent and working with the public on this with a full 6-week public consultation scheduled to begin on Thursday, August 23rd – which we will fully publicise. Two consultation events will also take place at Futures Park during September, dates to be announced shortly.
The proposed allocation will also be subject to further scrutiny at an Examination in Public – where a Planning Inspector will consider the need for a site along with the proposed location.
We would also like to take this opportunity to provide the full background to how this matter has come about:
In order to have our Local Plan approved, the Government legally requires the Council to identify what traveller sites are needed across the borough.
The Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment 2016 has identified a need to provide a stopover site for four transit pitches, comprising eight caravans, that is available for use by Gypsies and Travellers who come through Rossendale on their way to and from locations outside of the borough.
The land next to Futures Park in Bacup has been identified as the most appropriate location for this proposed allocation. It is not the Council’s intention that this will become a permanent site as the study shows there is no requirement to allocate any permanent sites in Rossendale.
We are aware that there have been calls for us to work with neighbouring authorities and we have contacted all of them to establish whether they could accommodate some of our identified needs, including the transit pitches. To date none have responded to say they are able to do so.
Residents have also asked for a map showing the proposed location of the site which we are currently pulling together and will publish asap.
We will continue to work with all involved to find a resolution and would urge residents to continue to share their views with us now and as part of the 6-week public consultation.