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Have your say on sites for Travellers and Travelling Showpeople in south Worcestershire

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The three south Worcestershire councils are inviting comments on the provision of sites for Travellers and Travelling Showpeople.

Worcester City, Malvern Hills District and Wychavon District Councils have prepared a Development Plan Document which includes information on the accommodation needs of Travellers and Travelling Showpeople across south Worcestershire.

The document includes policies which seek to ensure that future Traveller sites are appropriately located and designed.

The document proposes additional Traveller pitches on two existing Traveller sites at Newlands in Malvern, and Charlton, near Pershore. Two existing sites at Aldington and Evesham are also allocated in case the latest planning permissions lapse.

To help meet the medium-to-longer-term needs of Travellers or Travelling Showpeople, new sites are also proposed on the new and expanded settlements outlined in the revised South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) at Worcestershire Parkway, Throckmorton, and Rushwick; together with sites on each of the urban extensions at Worcester South and Worcester West.

The six-week public consultation runs from 1 November until Tuesday 13 December 2022 at 11.59pm. The public and other interested parties are being asked to comment on whether they believe the Development Plan Document is sound and legally compliant.

For the Development Plan Document to be considered sound it must show that it will meet the identified need for Traveller sites, is based on robust evidence, is deliverable and is consistent with national planning policies. To be legally compliant, the document must have followed all necessary legal and procedural requirements.

The Development Plan Document has been informed by earlier public consultations held in 2016, 2018 and 2021. This is the last public consultation on the document before it is submitted to the Government's Planning Inspectorate for independent Examination in 2023.

Cllr David Harrison, Chairman of the South Worcestershire Development Plan Joint Advisory Panel, said: "Providing sufficient appropriately located and designed sites for Travellers and Travelling Showpeople is vitally important, so I would urge people to make their voices heard on this essential issue."

While all comments submitted during the consultation will be forwarded to the Planning Inspectorate for consideration during the next stage of the document, the Government's Planning Inspector is only likely to consider comments that relate to the soundness and legal compliance of the document.

To comment, go to the consultation website, download and fill in the comment form, then submit it by email or by post. The addresses are given on the website.

Paper copies will also be available from customer contact centres (including the Guildhall), local libraries and some parish and town council offices.

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