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Travellers face uncertain future as council plans to sell of Leighton Street site

Posted on - 9th September, 2019 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Housing, Preston City Centre, Preston News
The travellers site sits behind the Leighton Street car park close to the university campus Pic: Google
The travellers site sits behind the Leighton Street car park close to the university campus Pic: Google

Leighton Street Traveller Site faces an uncertain future after Lancashire County Council said it will sell it site on.

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The site, which currently has 14 pitches, is one of three in Lancashire which was branded ‘surplus to requirements’ at a cabinet meeting on Thursday.

Lancashire County Council currently owns the site, however it has no legal requirement to provide a Traveller site.

The decision to sell comes after a public consultation was launched in May into the future of Leighton Street – along with two other County Council owned sites in Lancaster and Hyndburn.

All three sites will now be sold in a bid to tackle the funding deficit faced by LCC.

However the council said any transfer of ownership will come with the condition that the land must remain as a Traveller site.

Read more: Old Tram Bridge ownership debate has been settled

Cllr Geoff Driver CBE, leader of the council, said: “The county council has considered the results of the consultation very closely and I would like to thank everyone who gave us their views. 

“This has been a difficult decision, but due to the significant financial pressures the council faces it is one we have had to take. 

“We will now seek to keep all the affected residents informed about the next steps of this process.” 

Preston City Council currently handles the day-to-day running of the Leighton Street site.

Discussions will now take place between the two councils and the Travellers who live on the site to determine the next steps.

A total of £131,000 per year was budgeted for running costs and maintenance issues at the sites. 

However Lancashire County Council is facing a financial deficit of £64.755m forecast by the authority in 2022/23. 

What provision should be made for Travellers in Preston? Leave your comments below?

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