No imminent action to be taken on Sheffield new age travellers’ camp

Entrance to the new age travellers site on Wallace Road. Picture: Andrew Roe
Entrance to the new age travellers site on Wallace Road. Picture: Andrew Roe

A new age travellers’ camp in Sheffield will not face imminent enforcement action – as a milestone date nears.

The site on land off Wallace Road and Pickering Street, Parkwood Springs, has been occupied by new age travellers since 2005, after a travelling family was evicted after unauthorised use.

Under town planning laws, a site can become authorised as residential after 10 years of continuous use.

A report before a Sheffield Council planning committee told councillors there had been a concern raised that the site it could ‘potentially adversely affect the Parkwood Springs Regeneration Masterplan’.

The masterplan is being drawn up to create a ‘country park in the city’ and ‘elevate Parkwood Springs as a recreational hub’ after Sheffield Ski Village on the site was destroyed in a series of fires.

The report, by council officers, said continued use of the land would ‘greatly restrict opportunities in this part of the site’.

However, it said the unauthorised camp was ‘not considered to be an impediment’ to regeneration, as the site had grown over time and it was ‘highly unlikely’ any significant part had been occupied for the 10-year period without breaks, so those living there would be unable to claim it for residential use.

The report said that four letters from the same person had been received asking what action was to be taken over the camp.

It said the council, as landowner, had the power to gain possession of the land without resorting to planning powers.

The report said: “As the council, as landowner, has the ability to undertake possession proceedings, it would seem more appropriate for this course of action to be taken in the first instance, rather than having to go through planning legislation first.”

It was recommended that planning enforcement action did not take place ‘at this time.’

Councillors agreed the report at the meeting without any discussions.