Angry resident’s letter to minister about plans for permanent gypsy and traveller site in Hartlepool

PETITION:left, Ray Wells Conservative group leader with Shane Moore signing petition on Mayoral referendum.
PETITION:left, Ray Wells Conservative group leader with Shane Moore signing petition on Mayoral referendum.

A CONCERNED Hartlepool resident has written to Government Minister Eric Pickles outlining his concerns about plans for a permanent gypsy and traveller site in town.

Shane Moore has written to Mr Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, to appeal to him to scrap legislation which forces local authorities to make provision for sites.

A public consultation into 16 sites around Hartlepool has recently come to an end with further reports on the sites set to go before councillors.

The consultation followed the formal examination earlier this year of Hartlepool Borough Council’s proposed new Local Plan by a Government planning inspector, which was suspended after he called on officers to carry out further work to find an appropriate site in Hartlepool.

Mr Moore, 30, is from the West View area of town and is a forge worker at Clydesdale Forge.

In the letter to Mr Pickles, the married dad-of-one, said: “I write on behalf of the residents of Hartlepool who are currently being subjected to the anxiety and stress of having gypsy and traveller sites potentially built at the end of their streets.

“Responding to the planning commissioner’s decision, Hartlepool Borough Council produced a shortlist of potential sites which, as far as I and 99.9 per cent of the town believe, are wholly unacceptable and an insult to the hard-working families who have invested time and money into making their houses homes only to have the value of them reduced and the desirability of that area nose dive through absolutely no fault of their own.”

Mr Moore, a member of Hartlepool Conservatives, added: “If members of the gypsy and traveller community would like to settle in our great town then I have no doubt that they would be welcomed, but they must be prepared to do what I or any other resident would do and that is to purchase land or property to settle on.

“I trust you will do the right thing and help not only the people of Hartlepool, but the people and communities up and down the country who are also facing the same problem.”

The 13 original sites were land at West View Road, Throston Grange Lane, two areas in Burbank Street, Catcote Road/Macaulay Road, Wiltshire Way, Old Cemetery Road, Lennox Walk/Owton Manor Lane, Masefield Road/Gulliver Road, Hart smallholdings east and west, near Hart village, and Summerhill, off Catcote Road.

Three other sites were then added including Briarfields, land at Clarence Road and land at Huckelhoven Way/Reed Street. The public consultation finished at the end of June and further reports will go to the council’s finance and policy committee soon.