Communities Secretary Eric Pickles will make the final decision on plans to expand Leeds’s largest traveller site, it has been confirmed.
The referral, which has been welcomed by campaigners, means Leeds City Council’s £1m bid to expand Cottingley Springs, in south Leeds, to 53 pitches could yet be blocked.
The authority gave the plans the green light in December despite receiving 800 letters of objection.
Brandon Lewis MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Planning, has confirmed the referral in a letter to Morley Borough Independent (MBI) councillors.
Coun Robert Finnigan (MBI, Morley North) has welcomed the move by Mr Pickles.
He said: “This expansion had little support among the travelling community, with local residents or local businesses close to the site.”
Last month a council spokeswoman said that the authority was “confident that this option will best meet the needs of travellers in our city”.