Travellers set up camp at Leeds pitch and pub site

Playing fields at Glen Road Recreation Ground, Morley.

Playing fields at Glen Road Recreation Ground, Morley.

Travellers have set up camp on the site of a former pub in Leeds.

Leeds City Council yesterday (Sept 14) said it was aware of caravans parked on the grounds of the old White Bear pub in Tingley.

The travellers are believed to be the same group who had previously been camped at the Glen Road Recreation Ground in Morley.

Morley town councillor Wyn Kidger said they set up camp on the ground on Monday but left on Wednesday for Tingley. The site, on Dewsbury Road, is privately-owned.

The Glen Road ground is used as a pitch by a Morley Glen Juniors football team.

Coun Kidger said: “People were up in arms about it when they parked on the pitch.

“If they had stayed there the children wouldn’t have been able to play football but they have got their pitch back now. The site in Tingley needs securing.

“The council told me they that they were contacting the owners.

“It has been worrying people because travellers were here in August as well.

“We just hope they leave quietly and peacefully.”

The council said it was aware of the travellers on the White Bear pub site, and that it is in talks with the landlord and other relevant parties.

The site in Tingley has previously been the subject of five planning applications by McDonalds to build a fast food restaurant and drive-through.

But a public inquiry into the plans, which took place in March this year, ruled that a final appeal by company had been dismissed.

Helen Jones, chief executive of Leeds Gate, a membership organisation of gypsy travellers, said: “I think it’s quite likely that if the White Bear pub site is unused, safe and if the council proactive in providing skips and toilets, they could stay there without nuisance or distress being caused to local residents.

“The council needs to identify land that is appropriate for temporary use.”

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