Search back on for new gypsy and traveller site after government inspector rules out Stoneyholme

Burnley Council must now identify a new site for travellers
Burnley Council must now identify a new site for travellers
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The search for a permanent gypsy and traveller site in Burnley is back to square one after a government inspector ruled he was not happy with Burnley Council’s preferred site in Stoneyholme.

The council had identified land in Oswald Street, Stoneyholme, as the location for five permanent pitches in its draft Local Plan, a move which angered residents in the area as well as the neighbouring primary school.

Now, the council must look for a new site elsewhere in the borough after inspector Kevin Ward said the site was not justified, effective or consistent with national policy and recommended it be deleted from the Local Plan before that could proceed.

Residents gathered at the site last year to protest

Residents gathered at the site last year to protest

Among other reasons, Mr Ward believed that the M65 was too close to the Oswald Street site and that noise from the motorway was likely to affect the living conditions of those living in caravans.

The close proximity of industrial units and the associated noise and traffic would also have had a detrimental impact on those living on the site he believed.

The Local Plan, a vast document which sets out where all future housing and industrial development will take place in the borough in the coming years, is the most far-reaching and significant ever undertaken by Burnley Borough Council.

Council chiefs, reluctant to see the plan being delayed any further, have now decided that provision for gypsies and travellers will be looked at separately.

Coun. Sue Graham, the Executive member for regeneration and economic development, said: “We’ve taken on board the issues raised by the inspector regarding the gypsy and travellers’ accommodation.

“It’s vital that the examination of the draft Local Plan continues without significant delay. Taking the course of action proposed enables the Local Plan process to proceed.”