Plans to take control of an “eyesore” site in Leeds are being weighed up by councillors.
The former White Bear pub site in Tingley was the subject of five failed applications by fast food giant McDonald’s to build a restaurant and drive-through.
But councillors from the Morley Borough Independents (MBI) group say the site has fallen into disrepair, and become an eyesore in the community.
Now they are considering asking Leeds City Council to use compulsory purchase powers to take control of the site.
A group of travellers set up camp on the site briefly last month after they were moved on by police from Glen Road Recreation Ground in Morley.
Coun Judith Elliott (MBI, Morley South) said: “We asked the police to use their powers to remove travellers who illegally occupied Glen Road playing fields as it prevented the playing fields being used by local teams.
“They moved on to the White Bear site, which is privately owned, and we are now working to towards a long term plan to redevelop the site.
“We are meeting with Legal Services to explore the options to develop this eyesore site in a way that provides positive outcomes for local residents.”
Following a lengthy planning saga, the final decision of a planning inquiry in May ruled that an appeal by McDonald’s to build a new restaurant and drive-through with parking at the site in Tingley had been dismissed.
Coun Robert Finnigan (MBI, Morley North) said “We are exploring a long term solution to the redevelopment of the White Bear site at Tingley.” Coun Finnigan said the site is owned by Matterhorn Capital, and that councillors are hoping to meet with the company to discuss the future development of the site.
Local authorities have powers to enforce a purchase of privately-owned land or properties for public use in certain circumstances, under the government’s Transport and Works Act 1992.
Coun Finnigan said he has requested a briefing with councillors to explore options for the site.
He said the area is in need of affordable housing for the elderly and for disabled residents in the district.
The council worked with police and used Section 61 powers to move on the travellers from the Glen Road Recreation Ground last month.