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Traveller sites update

Statement on Homesford Woodyard issued by Derbyshire Dales District Council Leader Councillor Steve Flitter and Joint Deputy Leaders Councillors Peter Slack and Neil Bottle.

“We have been informed by the landowners of the Woodyard at Homesford – identified as a possible Traveller site – that it has been sold, subject to contract, to a third party.

We have therefore ended all due diligence work, which had been taking place since planning approval was agreed on 14 September to allow the use of the site as an eight-pitch Traveller site.

We are satisfied our officers moved as quickly as possible to initiate quotes for various essential site investigation surveys, including a valuation, topographical survey, architectural design, tree survey, drainage design, highways design including new access, soft and hard landscaping and acoustic fences.

The timing of this work naturally relied on consent by the landowners to access the site.

The intention had been for a full meeting of the council to consider options for lease or acquisition – subject to acceptable survey reports – on 14 December. This won’t now happen.

We also note from early survey results that the site would have presented significant – and potentially expensive – challenges to upgrade it to the required standards. These challenges were not evident when the landowners submitted their planning application two months ago.

The search for temporary and permanent sites here in the Derbyshire Dales continues – led by our cross-party Traveller Working Group.”

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