Plans for Chesterfield Traveller site are passed

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Plans for a Traveller site in Chesterfield have been given the go-ahead - amid concerns about methane and contaminated soil at the location.

Chesterfield Borough Council's planning committee has met and approved an application for a Traveller site with three pitches on land to the rear of Mayfields at Hady Lane, Hady - subject to conditions.

One of those conditions specifies that further gas monitoring and soil analysis is carried out and agreed as appropriate before people can use the site.

A static caravan and touring caravan would be situated on each pitch at the location - which is is a former landfill site.

The planning consent means a requirement for the borough council to identify sites for two permanent Gypsy and Traveller pitches as part of its latest Local Plan has now been met.

RELATED STORY: We reveal the cost of illegal Gypsy and Traveller camps in Chesterfield last year

'Appropriate to approve the application subject to suitable conditions'

Derbyshire County Council, which owns the former landfill site, expressed 'fundamental concerns that the site is not suitable or safe for the proposed use, not least because of the levels of methane that are still emitting from the site and that the soil is also contaminated'.

In light of the county council's concerns, the borough council appointed environmental consultancy Wardell Armstrong LLP to conduct tests and give an independent opinion on the application.

A borough council planning report states: "Wardell Armstrong have stated that based on current information, it is unlikely that there are any potential risks of such severity for which a remedial solution is not achievable.

"As such, it is considered appropriate to approve the application subject to suitable conditions."

'No significant threat to the local economy'

The borough council planning report adds: "There is no substantive evidence to support a view that there would be any significant threat to the local community of anti-social behaviour from the occupation of the site by a family of the applicant’s ethnicity.

"The community safety officer and Derbyshire Constabulary have raised no objection to the proposed land use or to the current occupation of the site to the east.

"With regards to the adverse impact on the character of the area, the site is relatively well screened and would not be prominent within the wider landscape.

"With regards to traffic, it is not considered that these plans would result in any significant additional impact.

"There have been no objections from county council highways, ample parking provision is available and access to the site is considered to be appropriate."