Councillors are calling for answers as to why a planning decision over a potential traveller site in Leeds has been delayed for nearly nine months.
Morley Borough Independents claim a decision on a family’s plans to develop brownfield land off Sandon Mount, in Hunslet, has been unfairly delayed as the site is close to health facilities and schools, which Government guidance says is preferable.
A decision on the plans, which have received over 80 objections and 39 letters in support, is still pending despite the target decision date of January 28 2013 long since passing.
Coun Robert Finnigan (MBI, Morley North) said: “Where we could be providing small traveller sites, as guidance confirms we should be doing, the council chooses not to, yet the Cottingley Springs expansion, which is a nailed-on rejection because it is in contrast to guidance, is being accelerated.”
He said Leeds City Council’s £1m 12-pitch expansion of the council’s permanent traveller site, Cottingley Springs, should be abandoned as it encroaches on the green belt and is not close to health centres or schools.
Councillors, residents and Hunslet Carr Primary School objected to the plans at Sandon Mount for reasons including traffic, noise and crime fears. Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Exchange supports the application.
A council spokeswoman said: “The application has taken longer to determine as it involves a number of issues including the detail of pitch provision across the city and national guidance and decision making.”
She said a decision on Sandon Mount is “imminent”, while proposals to expand at Cottingley, which are currently with planners, came after a review of 220 potential sites in Leeds.