COUNCILLORS have today (Tuesday, December 17) backed plans for a nine-pitch traveller transit site at Westhampnett.
Councillors at a full Chichester District Council meeting unanimously backed plans for a transit site in the district.
However, two councillors voting against its location at the former Westhampnett depot.
During the debate, Cllr Myles Cullen said: “The transit site is not necessarily a panacea but it is the only weapon within our armoury at present to diminish the tremendous degradation of our countryside.”
Cllr Josef Ransley said: “In some ways it seems that we are passing the problem further down the line but that is the world we live in.”
The scheme is dependent on all district and borough councils in West Sussex agreeing to jointly fund the scheme – which is set to cost £1.3m and would open in early 2015.
It still has to be approved by Chichester District Council’s planning committee.
Yesterday, Arun District Council’s cabinet recommended to contribute towards the running of the site.
The transit site would allow police to move on any illegal encampments in the county to the transit site, provided pitches were available.
Last week, at a public meeting in Westhampnett, chief executive of Chichester District Council Diane Shepherd told residents today was their opportunity to partake in the democratic process at the ‘open and transparent’ council meeting.
This morning, chairman of Westhampnett Parish Council Bob Holman and vice-chairman Bill Harding handed in a petition signed by 358 village residents.
Out of this, 352 were opposed to the site and six were in favour.
The transit site would be situated at the current Westhampnett Depot.