Walton gypsy site row continues

Councillors Maureen Cummings and Albert Manifield are fighting proposals for a gypsy site on land between The Grove and The Balk in Walton
Councillors Maureen Cummings and Albert Manifield are fighting proposals for a gypsy site on land between The Grove and The Balk in Walton

VILLAGERS want to negotiate with landowners as they try to halt plans for a travellers’ campsite in Walton.

At a meeting in Walton Village Hall on Tuesday, hundreds voted unanimously against an application for an 18-pitch caravan site on land between The Grove and The Balk.

The meeting had been called by Walton Parish Council to explain the grounds on which people could object to the application submitted by Green Planning Solutions.

Parish councillors also wanted to assess public feeling so that they can work with site owners Hanover Developments Ltd to come up with a plan villagers would accept.

They announced that a revised plan for a 192-bed care village on the same site had been drawn up by Bramall Construction, following the refusal of a 250-bed plan last year.

At the meeting about half of the crowd voted to accept the revised plan if it meant the travellers’ site application was withdrawn.

A large majority said they would accept a smaller care village or a different development entirely.

Parish Council clerk David Plaut said feedback from the meeting would be carried back to the landowners.

He said: “The proposal for 192 units was not fully supported but there seemed to be support for a proposal for 129 units if it was put forward.

“It is important to stress that this meeting was called to discuss the gypsy site application only, so the vote we took was about testing the water.”

A spokesman for Hanover Developments Ltd said there was a “potential for dialogue” with villagers but said he would not comment further until the parish council had been in touch.