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Planners approve two sites for travelling showpeople

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PLANNING chiefs at Warrington have given the go-ahead for two residential sites for travelling showpeople – despite opposition from nearby residents.
The chairman of the borough’s development management committee, Cllr Tony McCarthy, vacated the chair so he could speak in opposition to one of the schemes at New Cut Lane, Woolston.
Woolston Parish Council and 59 local residents also objected to the scheme.
The other scheme, on the Winwick Road Industrial Estate, Athlone Road, Warrington, was opposed by two objectors.
It was generally accepted that it was suitable for a showperson’s site, however.
The committee was told the sites would be occupied by two showpeople’s extended families who had lived in the Warrington area for many years.
One family claimed to have a 200-year association with the town.
Their existing site, in Foundry Street, was no longer sustainable.
Objections related to the unsuitability of the sites for residential purposes – particularly the New Cut Lane site, which was close to the Woolston household recycle site and other industrial purposes.
There were also noise and traffic issues.
Councillors were told that travelling showpeople required caravans or mobile homes to live in and also space to store, maintain and test fairground equipment.
The sites would not be occupied continuously as the families would be travelling to fairgrounds over a wide area.
The two families involved considered the sites to be ideal for their purposes. They were in suitable locations for their children to attend their present schools.
Cllr McCarthy said he did not consider the New Cut Lane site to be suitable for any kind of residential purpose because of the proximity of the household waste recycling centre and other industrial uses.
He accepted that the families involved were local people who had lived in the town for many years, however, and that they were happy to live on the sites.
His fear, however, was that the Woolston scheme could be the “thin end of the wedge” and that council could be considering Woolston as a location for a permanent site for travellers.
The committee voted to approve both schemes.

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