Council set to reject Leeds travellers’ camp plan

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Controversial proposals for a new traveller camp in south Leeds are set to be rejected by council bosses.

The Yorkshire Evening Post understands that Leeds City Council is poised to announce that an application for planning permission for the former oil refinery site at Valley Road, Morley, has been turned down.

Under plans submitted to the council earlier this year, the camp would have comprised 55 pitches on either side of Valley Road, near Morley railway station.

The proposal was subsequently reduced to 35 pitches in response to concerns about potential flood risks.

Hundreds of residents put forward objections to the application, which was made by a Yorkshire businessman.

Morley MP Ed Balls was among the local politicians who pointed out that the camp would be less than two miles from an existing traveller site at Cottingley Springs.

The proposed development at Valley Road was at one stage also slated to include a play area, management cabin and bathroom facilities as well as a grazing paddock and a 40-space car park.

News of the local authority’s decision to give the scheme the knock-back was welcomed today by Coun Neil Dawson (Lab, Morley South).

He told the YEP: “I am pleased that the council has thrown out this application.

“It was submitted without any prior consultation and has been turned down for sound planning reasons.

“It is great news for Morley and a welcome outcome for the hundreds of Morley people who objected to this application.

“The proposed caravan park would have been located in an area with poor highway access and near a busy mainline railway.”

A spokesman for the council yesterday said it was expected that a decision on the planning application would be made public later this week.

As previously reported by the YEP, council bosses successfully stopped unauthorised work being carried out at the Valley Road site in May.

The local authority went to court with the intention of securing an injunction after two stop notices issued to the site owners failed to have the desired effect.

In the event, an injunction was not required as the owners gave a written undertaking to the court that the unauthorised work would end.

Sarah Champion MP

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