Potential traveller sites in Calderdale have been revealed as meetings into the Council's draft Local Plan were heard.
Phase one of hearings to test the plan’s soundness have been held at Shelf Village Hall with phase two, which will put the spotlight on the suitability of individual sites, not expected to be held before November at the earliest.
One of the requirements the council has to address is the need of travelling families and planning lead Richard Seaman told the hearing – presided over by planning inspector Katie Child – that the council had already commissioned a significant amount of work on the subject.
It will be subject to its own Development Plan and would have between six and 13 pitches, seven of them “bricks and mortar” covering a range of needs, including those of people who arrive in town with shows.
“Given the modest scale of that need the council felt it was not an issue that would affect the soundness or deliverability of the plan,” he said.
The council has identified a favoured site – at Shroggs Road, Halifax – along with other potential sites but felt there was a need to do more engagement work with local communities about the subject.
About a mile north of Halifax town centre, the council-owned site was the preferred option because it was close to the town centre, was on a bus route and was close to schools and other amenities, said Mr Seaman.
Although its former use for waste management might raise issues, it was felt these were not insurmountable.
At the same time the council had explored the other site option at Brighouse but this was less favoured because the only access was through the council’s waste recycling site at that town and that brought with it some technical issues, said Mr Seaman.
The Local Plan, sent to Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government James Brokenshire in January, requires the council to identify sites for around 9,500 new homes in the borough which should be developed by 2032 – previously described as the 12,600 requirement Government has asked for, less sites which have already been given planning permission but have not yet been developed.
It also assesses where employment needs in the years ahead might be met and sites developed.