Councillors support plan for traveller site

W35101H13 Travellers at Sompting Recreation Ground last summer
W35101H13 Travellers at Sompting Recreation Ground last summer

WORTHING and Adur councillors have given their backing to the development of a nine-pitch traveller site in the county.

A £1.3 million site complete with parking and amenities has been proposed in an effort to reduce disruption caused by illegal encampments.

Located at Westhampnett Depot, on the outskirts of Chichester, the site will be funded by contributions from all of the councils in the county.

Dave Simmonds, Adur cabinet member for health and wellbeing, added: “This new site is essential in providing the necessary resources for some our most disadvantaged communities and will assist in the longer term with reducing many of the tensions experienced across the county. I fully support this initiative as one way of helping to develop and integrate community responses.”

The contributions of Adur and Worthing councils will amount to £162,500 each, however, if a funding bid to the Homes and Communities Agency is successful, the cost will reduce to £95,000 each.

This year, illegal traveller encampments have cost Adur more than £24,500 and Worthing £34,000.

West Sussex Chief Executives commissioned an independent report to assess whether a transit site would help manage unauthorised encampments and highlight the pros and cons of a permanent site.

The report said that a transit site, if well managed on a multi-agency basis, would reduce the number of illegal encampments and the cost of dealing with them.

For the full story, see the Worthing Herald, Thursday, January 2.