After months of searching, a permanent site has now been identified to accommodate a family of travellers in the Dales.
At a corporate committee meeting on Tuesday, January 22, members of Derbyshire Dales District Council voted in favour of progressing The Wood Yard at Homesford on to a public consultation, with a view to submitting a planning application in the near future.
However, some members expressed concerns that, while the site was easily the most suitable, it was by no means perfect. Owing to this the authority voted to continue searching for other, more suitable, sites while progressing The Wood Yard.
Fears were raised about the proximity of the Wood Yard site to the busy A6 – which has a speed limit of 50mph.
Some members also expressed concerns that the proposed site falls right on the edge of the Derwent Valley World Heritage site.
Dorcas Bunton, Derbyshire Dales District Council chief executive, said: “We would want to continue working with Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group (DGLG) not least so we can give members information on what [other sites] might be available.”
However, she added how important it was that the authority is seen to be pro-active in its search for a site, as severe penalties could be incurred otherwise.
All the other sites that were up for consideration have now been disregarded by the district council, though, much to the relief of many neighbouring residents.
A temporary site for a maximum period of nine months has been identified at Old Station Close, Rowsley, but this is subject to planning permission, which has now been submitted.
This would accommodate the family of travellers – who remain parked at the Agricultural Business Centre in Bakewell – until a permanent site is finalised.
Derbyshire Dales District Council has a legal duty to provide the family – who are classed as homeless – with a permanent site.