The City Council is set to return to the High Court at its first review hearing of the traveller injunction granted last year.
On 2 October, 2018, an injunction was granted by the High Court to protect Wolverhampton’s green spaces and other vulnerable sites against unauthorised encampments at 60 sites across the city.
Since the injunction has been in force, Wolverhampton has seen a significant reduction in unauthorised encampments by 75% in 12 months.
During the court hearing, Mrs Justice Jefford DBE raised repeated concerns about travellers having nowhere to go in Wolverhampton.
The City Council agreed to take steps to develop a transit site to enable travellers to have somewhere to stay short term, when they visit the city.
To comply with the terms of the injunction, the council is required to submit its plans for the proposed transit site to be discussed at the review hearing on 5 December.
After much consideration, the City Council has carefully identified a suitable area for redevelopment, at a derelict piece of land at Gorsebrook Road in the St Peter’s ward of the city.
A transit site will give the police greater powers to move travellers off unauthorised sites and onto the transit site as soon as possible – enabling a more effective way of managing unauthorised encampments.
The council is hosting a meeting for local residents and business to enable them to have their say on the proposed plans.
The meeting will take place at the Holiday Inn at Wolverhampton Racecourse on 7 October from 6.30pm until 7.30pm.
A drop-in session will also be held at Gatis Street Community Centre on October 16 from 3pm until 6pm.
Councillor Steve Evans, Cabinet Member for City Environment at City of Wolverhampton Council said: “We have identified a possible location to develop a transit site in Wolverhampton.
“This is a requirement ordered by the High Court – without a transit site in place, we are not holding up our end of the agreement.
“It has been 12 months since we have obtained the injunction and I’m pleased to have seen a vast reduction in traveller incursions.
“By developing a transit site, we are providing travellers with a place to stay short term as well as reducing incursions in the city.
“I understand there will be questions and perhaps some concerns about the proposal which is why we are holding a public meeting and a drop-in session for residents to have the opportunity to speak to our officers and have their questions answered.
“I would like to thank council officers who have been working tirelessly to ensure all steps ordered by the High Court have been implemented to continue to protect our green spaces.”
Before the injunction was in force, incursions cost the council an estimated £350,000 to manage each year.
If approved, the transit site will cost approximately £960,000 to develop, saving the council money in the long run.