Travellers await court decision

Story by Richard Belbin

The court hearing to remove a group of 29 new age travellers from the site below the former Ski Village (see Messenger 137) was held last month.

The court heard how travellers have lived on the site for over fourteen years, but are now threatened with eviction as the council wish to develop the area as part of a £22.5 million ‘leisure tourism destination’ covering the site at Parkwood Springs.

Extreme Destinations was announced as lead developer in November 2017. James Richards, public protection team manager for Sheffield City Council, told the court that the authority had not yet submitted full plans and this had now been delayed for another four months.

Stephen Cottle, representing the travellers, said they “accept the authority’s ownership of the land” but wanted to stay and redevelop the lowest part of the land. They were happy to carry out the necessary building and landscaping works themselves.

Emma Godfrey, on behalf of Sheffield City Council, said travellers had moved on to the site ‘without consent’. She said the council needed ownership of the land to deliver “a scheme for the benefit of the wider population of Sheffield”. Proposals include new slopes and a lift for skiing zones, a zip line, cycle tracks, and a country park.

The judges decision is now expected as the Messenger goes to print.