Sheffield ‘needs a site where Travellers can set up camp temporarily’, says councillor

Sheffield needs a site where the Travelling community can stay while they are moving across the country, says a councillor.

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 11:15 am

Coun Mike Levery has called for temporary stopping places in the city so Travellers don’t set up camp on public and private land, as recently happened in his High Green ward.

A Sheffield Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment published in 2015 said there was a need for some form of transit provision or temporary stopping places in the city but Coun Levery says no sites have been found.

“The multi-agency group said transit provision or stopping places with basic facilities should be available at key times of year, such as during the Appleby Horse Fair.

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Travellers have set up camp at a football pitch on Norfolk Park Road.

“This provision was put in place in Leeds a number of years ago, and a protocol for this provision in Sheffield was proposed in 2012.

“For the last three years, travellers have visited High Green. In 2019 the car parks for the Thorncliffe Leisure Centre and St Georges Park saw the facilities closed on two occasions with height restriction barriers put in place.

“In 2020 and 2021 Travellers occupied Angram Bank Park in August, with in excess of 40 caravans in the latest visit

“What actions have taken place since 2015 to examine where transit provision should be located, and what progress has been made to bring it into operation?

“Will site hardening take place at Angram Bank Park and the nearby housing green space to prevent any future occupations?”

Coun Alison Teal, Executive member for neighbourhoods, said locations were identified but further work found the sites were unsuitable.

She said transit sites were being reviewed but there were no firm plans at this stage.

Coun Teal added: “The area manager from the parks service has met with parish councillors and Steel Valley Project to assess what can be done and associated costs.

“All parties want to create something attractive that also prevents further illegal trespass issues.

“The view is that in addition to preventing access to the site for future occupations, there is the potential to make improvements on site and increase biodiversity.”