PEOPLE are being urged to voice their opinions about controversial plans for a permanent gypsy and traveller site in Hartlepool.
Hartlepool Borough Council launched the consultation after a public inspection into Hartlepool’s Local Plan was halted by Government inspector Kevin Ward who asked for further work to find an appropriate site.
Thirteen council-owned sites had originally been short-listed, extended to 16 after councillors added three more sites.
Hartlepool Council is currently running eight weeks of consultation until Thursday, June 27, to seek people’s views on which of the original 13 is the most appropriate.
The 13 sites are: 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
The public consultation events are being held in the vicinity of the shortlisted sites and the remaining events are:
• Hart Village Hall tonight from 4pm to 7pm.
• St Mark’s Church Hall, in Clavering Road on Thursday, May 30 from 4pm to 7pm.
• Throston Primary School, in Flint Walk on Tuesday, June 4 from 4pm to 7pm.
• Hartlepool Rovers Rugby Club, in West View Road on Thursday, June 6 from 4pm to 7pm.
The three extra sites, Briarfields, land at Clarence Road (north of the Victoria Park football ground) and land at Huckelhoven Way/Reed Street, will be subject to a separate eight week public consultation, the details of which will be announced soon.
The issue has sparked controversy with police looking into an allegation a man was assaulted at one of the recent meetings as tempers flared, as previously reported.
A disturbance between two men took place at Masefield Road Community Centre, two weeks ago which resulted in one man leaving the meeting and the incident being reported to police.
It led to the council stepping up security and appealing for calm.
Damien Wilson, the council’s assistant director of regeneration, said: “It’s very important that as many people as possible give us their views on the shortlisted sites.
“It should be noted that only one site or a combination of small sites will be needed to meet the requirement for between six and ten traveller pitches and because a site is on the shortlist it does not mean that it will be developed.
“All the comments received will be considered and reported to the council’s finance and policy committee before being presented to the Government planning inspector who will make a final decision on which site should be included in the Local Plan.”
The consultation document can also be viewed on the council’s website www.hartlepool.gov.uk and at the council’s Bryan Hanson House offices, in Lynn Street, and at the Civic Centre, in Victoria Road, between 8.30am and 5pm Mondays to Thursdays and 8.30am to 4.30pm Fridays and at all town libraries.
All responses must be submitted in writing to: Planning Policy, Hartlepool Borough Council, Bryan Hanson House, Hanson Square, Hartlepool, TS24 7BT or by email to Planningpolicy@hartlepool.gov.uk by 5pm on Thursday, June 27.
For more information call the Planning Policy Team on (01429) 523532.