Cledford Lane - transit site plan

Planning officers are recommending Cheshire East councillors give the go-ahead for a gypsy and traveller transit site, writes Belinda Ryan.

Cheshire East Council has applied for permission to site 10 gypsy and traveller transit pitches and an amenity block on land at the former Cledford Hall Farm on Cledford Lane, Middlewich.

Permission for nine transit pitches and a permanent warden’s pitch was granted for the same site in 2015 but the permission lapsed.

An official transit site would allow police to remove unauthorised traveller encampments which have risen in recent years in Nantwich and other towns in the borough.

This latest application will be decided by the council’s strategic planning board next Wednesday (August 18).

In the report to go before that meeting the planning officer states: “Cheshire East does not currently have a transit site for gypsies and travellers, and the provision of such would significantly help to reduce the number of unauthorised encampments across the borough, and meet an identified need, which is a significant benefit of the proposal that carries substantial weight.

“Unauthorised encampments can be costly, time-consuming and disruptive for local businesses and settled communities.

“There are no known alternative locations for a transit site and the site has previously had planning permission for nine transit pitches and one permanent Warden’s pitch.

“Therefore, the scale of the site, and the principle of its use, in a rural / semi-rural area has been accepted previously.”

But some residents and local councillors have objected – with many expressing fears it may lead to resentment among the local settled gypsy and traveller community.

Moston Parish Council states: “Introducing transient gypsies and travellers to this community could quite easily cause resentment between the non-travelling population and those settled gypsies and travellers, destroying forever the efforts which have been made over the last decade or so.

“Middlewich, Cledford and Moston already have 12 transit pitches on privately owned sites, the basis of this application does not appear to address a shortfall in local transit provision.”

Cllr Carol Bulman, who represents Middlewich on Cheshire East Council, said Cledford Lane is not on the gypsy and traveller general route and members of the transient community had expressed a preference for a site near Crewe.

She said there were several better sites across Cheshire East that should be considered and “the only reason Cledford Lane is the site currently favoured by Cheshire East Council officers is because there is a fine to pay should this land be used for any purpose other than as a gypsy and traveller site”.

“Our large, settled gypsy, Roma and traveller community do not welcome the development of a transient site at Cledford Lane,” she added in her comments on the report to go before Wednesday’s meeting.

Twelve letters of representation were also sent to the council from local residents, local businesses and Congleton MP Fiona Bruce.

The objections included claims the site not suitable for housing or a traveller transit site; there are no footpaths in that area of Cledford Lane and it is poorly lit; the proposed 2.5m high fence raises concerns over amenity and quality of life for residents and the site is isolated from Middlewich and its facilities.

The meeting takes place at Sandbach Town Hall at 10am on Wednesday, August 18.


  1. Graham Fenton says:

    Cheshire East Council shadowed the existing borough councils from Apr 01 2008 and took over from Apr 01 2009.

    Cllr Carol Bulman: I am not sure where several decades of former administrations has come from?

    • Typical useless Cllr nimby speak. It would appear she would rather pay a fine of our money than to accept that this land is and should be used for travellers (oh no send them to Crewe). Idiot.

  2. Cllr Carol Bulman says:

    ‘Negotiated stopping’ is the preferred option for many transient travellers. This arrangement has been used by CEC during the lockdowns and has worked well. It suits the police and the settled Romany communities too. Under these negotiated arrangements water and portaloos are provided by the council and a period of up to 1 month for a stay is allowed. This also has the advantage of saving thousands of pounds over the provision of a permanent transient site. I will be supporting this option at the meeting on the 18th.
    It is a pity that former administrations at CEC failed over several decades to make proper arrangements for the transient traveller community.
    Cllr Carol Bulman

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website, to learn more please read our privacy policy.


Captcha * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.