Cledford Hall - transit site for travellers

Residents in Nantwich can soon have their say on a key council document that will pave the way for a transit site for gypsies and travellers, writes Stephen Topping.

Cheshire East Council is about to open consultation on the latest draft for the second part of its local plan – formally known as the Site Allocations and Development Policies Document (SADPD).

As it stands, the crucial document sets aside Cledford Hall (pictured), in Middlewich, for 10 transit pitches for gypsies and travellers.

It comes after council chiefs confirmed they were considering reviving their original plans for the site, which received planning permission in 2015, but failed to materialise before time ran out last year.

The plans were fiercely contested the first time around – with residents, councillors and Fiona Bruce MP all lodging objections.

Cllr Jonathan Parry and Cllr Carol Bulman, two of Middlewich’s Labour CEC members, have also raised concerns about the plans since they resurfaced.

In a report they handed to cabinet last week, they claimed that Cledford Hall would be unsuitable as a transit site due to its proximity to the Ansa site, the lack of pavements along Cledford Lane and possible conflict between the nearby settled traveller community and those who will use the transit site.

CEC has earmarked 53 permanent gypsy and traveller pitches across the borough – including 16 in Nantwich – in the document.

These are:

8 pitches on land east of Railway Cottages, Nantwich
8 pitches on land at New Start Park, Wettenhall Road, Nantwich
24 pitches at Three Oakes, Booth Lane, Middlewich
7 pitches on land at Coppenhall Moss, Crewe
2 pitches at Thimswarra Farm, Moston
4 pitches at Meadowview, Moston
2 designated sites for travelling showmen are also earmarked – one with 10 plots at Firs Farm, Brereton, and one with three plots on the lorry park, off Mobberley Road, Knutsford.

CEC was recently criticised by the Planning Inspectorate for failing to have enough permanent provision for gypsies and travellers when it lost a planning appeal over four pitches in Moston.

The document also proposes smaller housing and employment land allocations in other towns and villages across the borough, with the aim of preventing speculative developments.

Independent Cllr Toni Fox, cabinet member for planning, said: “Completion of the site allocations plan is an important step towards securing a strong and resilient basis for planning in Cheshire East, including maintaining a five-year supply of housing land.

“We want to be able to review our local plan in future from a position of strength – without risking a planning free-for all.”

The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands that consultation on the SADPD will take place from Monday August 19, with the council set to confirm the start date later this week.

A public meeting to discuss the Cledford Hall transit site proposal is being held at Middlewich Methodist Church, in Booth Lane, from 7.30pm on Wednesday, August 21.

The SADPD consultation will last for six weeks.

CEC’s cabinet will then consider the results and decide whether the proposals should be amended – and if so, another round of consultation would take place.

Once the consultation goes live it will be available online at

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